A speeding vehicle crushed 12 Hindu pilgrims, including four women, who were sleeping in Bihar's Aurangabad district early Tuesday, police said.
Eighteen others were injured in the ghastly pre-dawn incident along a national highway, Aurangabad Superintendent of Police Upendra Kumar Sharma said.
Sharma said more than four dozen Hindus were asleep in the open after parking their bus on the highway when a truck ran over them.
The injured were admitted to different hospitals.
During the month of Shravan (July-August), thousands of Hindus visit an ancient Shiva temple in Deoghar in Jharkhand to offer Ganges water that they carry from the holy river.
The "kanwariyas", as they are known, walk long distances to reach the Shiva temple. They return to their villages and towns in trains or in their own vehicles.