Police say a truck plowed into a group of pilgrims sleeping by the roadside in western India, killing 18 of them and injuring seven.

Senior police official Ashish Bhatia says the accident took place before dawn Thursday about 50 miles (80 kilometres) southwest of Ahmadabad after a burst tire made the truck driver lose control of his vehicle.

Police inspector K.V. Jhala says the pilgrims were on their way to a Sufi Muslim shrine in the town of Baliad. Many pilgrims walk to the shrine and often rest by the roadside.

Police figures show India has the world's highest road death toll, with more than 110,000 people dying each year in accidents commonly caused by speeding, overcrowding and poor vehicle and road maintenance.

Source: The Canadian Press