NEW DELHI, June 20 (Xinhua) -- At least seven children went missing after a vehicle carrying 29 people fell into a canal on Thursday in northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, police said.
According to police, 22 people were rescued from the canal and search for the missing ones was underway.
The accident took place during the morning in Nagram area on the outskirts of Lucknow, the capital city of Uttar Pradesh.
"Early this morning a vehicle carrying 29 people fell into Indira canal here," a senior police official said. "The passengers inside the vehicle were returning from a wedding function and the driver lost control over the vehicle before plunging into canal."
The police official said immediately after the accident, locals carried out rescue efforts and informed police.
"So far 22 people mostly adults were rescued alive but as per the information seven children aged between four and nine years are still missing," the official said. "A team of national disaster response force (NDRF) has been deployed for rescue operations and divers are searching inside the canal."
Rescuers said the strong flow of water in the canal was hampering the efforts.
Officials fear the children might have died inside the canal.
"It has been several hours and there is no trace of the children, there is possibility they might have died," the police official said. "We have directed the official in districts downstream to put nets into the canal so that if the children had been swept away by the currents, they could be recovered."
Deadly road accidents are common in India, often caused due to overloading, bad condition of roads and reckless driving.
An official report says on an average 400 deaths take place every day in India due to road accidents.