Sambalpur, Feb. 22: Fifteen members of a wedding party, including the bride, were killed and two others were injured today when the Mahindra Bolero they were travelling in collided with an express train at an unmanned level crossing at Dhanger, 60km from here.
The jeep that got stuck to the train engine was dragged 200m along the track before it caught fire at a level crossing between Bargarh and Barpali railway stations, police said.
Fifteen people, including seven women and a child, were killed in the accident that took place at 3.50pm.
The bride and her family members were on their way to her in-laws house when the mishap occurred.
The bride, Pinki Dehury, 18, elder sister Astami Dehury, brother-in-law Rashmiranjan Mohapatra, Girija Dehury, Puspa Bisi and Yagna Bhoi, died on the spot. Two other members later succumbed to their injuries at VSS Medical College Hospital at Burla, inspector in charge of Bargarh police station U.S. Maharana said.
The groom had already left the marriage mandap at Kainser, 18km from the accident site, for his house before the bride. None of the passengers of Bolangir-Puri Inter-city Express was injured.
Soon after the incident, fire engines were pressed into service to douse the fire engulfing the jeep.
A railway relief van with engineers, technicians and sophisticated equipment, including gas cutter, was sent to the collision site to separate the mangled jeep from the train engine.
Additional police personnel were deployed as a large number of people from nearby villages staged a sit-in at the site.
Residents blocked the track for hours demanding immediate installation of check gates and proper manning of the crossing. Senior railway and police officers rushed to the spot.
Meanwhile, chief minister, Naveen Patnaik condoled the deaths and asked health minister Sanatan Bisi to rush to the spot.