ROURKELA -- Nine Kabaddi players died when a mini truck carrying around 21 people, overturned and fell off a bridge near Suarapalli village on the Lahunipara-Baharaposi in Sundargarh district on Saturday.
12 people have sustained severe injuries.
Police said the kabaddi team from Sendhapur village in Lahunipara block had been to Dhudigaon for a tournament.
The mishap took place at 4:30 PM, when the mini-truck (OD-16-7141) lost its balance and fell down from the bridge.
Locals rushed to the spot and started rescue operations.
The injured were taken to Lahunipara health centre where three of them were declared brought dead. Five died in hospital. Among the injured, six were referred to Rourkela and four to Bonei sub-divisional hospital.
The dead were identified as Abhiram Kalo, 50, Dharanidhar Nayak, 60, Chandra Sekhar Pradhan, 18, all from Sendhapur village, Umesh Kisan, 25, and Gauri Chandra Kissan, 22, of Sangopinathpur village near Sendhapur.
Two other deceased were yet to be identified. "We have recovered the truck from the site and rushed all the injured to the hospital," said additional SP (Bonei) R B Panigrahi.
Expressing grief over the deaths, chief minister Naveen Patnaik on Saturday announced ex-gratia of Rs 1 lakh each for the next of the kin of the deceased.