At least sixteen persons have been killed with more than 50 others injured after a truck carrying churchgoers overturned in a hilly region of northeast India on Sunday morning.

It is understood that the truck was carrying people from three villages to a local church when it came to grief in the West Khasi Hills district of Meghalaya state.

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Speaking with AFP on phone, a district police Superintendent Sylvester Nongtnger said:

“The survivors have told us that the truck driver was rash and lost control of the vehicle. After it overturned, many people fell into the deep gorge in this hilly region.”

“We rescued everyone from the accident spot and rushed them to hospital but many of the survivors have serious injuries.”

India has some of the world’s deadliest roads with more than 150,000 fatalities annually due to poor roads, badly maintained vehicles and reckless driving.

Last month a school bus carrying dozens of pupils collided with a truck in northern India’s Uttar Pradesh state, killing 13 people.

Twelve of the dead were children aged between seven and 14, who were seated near the front of the bus when an oncoming truck collided with it.