Bathinda (Punjab): Two persons were killed and 14 members of the Indian women Kabaddi team were injured, 10 of them seriously, when a bus carrying the players collided with an Army truck at Cantonment road here on Thursday, police said.

Of the 14 players travelling in the bus, the condition of 10 was stated to be serious while four others escaped with minor injuries, they said. After the accident the bus caught fire.

The driver of the bus and a policeman escorting the team were killed in the mishap, which occurred at a place nearly 250 km from Chandigarh, they said.

Three policemen in the escort vehicle also suffered serious injuries. All of them have been hospitalised.

The Kabaddi players were going towards Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal's private residence at Badal village in Muktsar district from Ludhiana when the mishap occurred, police said.

The team members were participating in the on-going second Punjab World Cup Kabaddi tournament in the state.

The deceased have been identified as Head Constable Harjeet Singh, who was driving the pilot jeep, and Varinder Sharma, driver of the bus carrying the players. Both belonged to Ludhiana district.

The local unit of the Army immediately swung into rescue operation after the accident took place and subsequently the Army ordered a court of enquiry into the accident.

Eye witnesses added that the Army truck was trying to overtake a vehicle when it collided head-on with the pilot vehicle coming at high speed from another direction. The jeep was flung aside under the impact of the collision after which the bus collided head on.

The impact of collision was so big that both the vehicles caught fire.

Meanwhile, describing the incident as unfortunate, Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal announced ex-gratia to the next kin of the deceased and said the Kabaddi tournament will be held as per schedule.

(Agencies)