A truck ran into a crowd of farmers staging a protest in southern India, killing at least 14 people and injuring many others.

Friday's crash occurred when the driver lost control of the speeding vehicle, struck an electricity pole and slammed into the group demonstrating outside a police station in Andhra Pradesh state. Some of the farmers were electrocuted.

Seventeen people were hurt in the incident in Chittoor district, said Superintendent of Police R Jayalakshmi.

"The driver of the lorry [truck] was drunk. He drove in a rash manner and hit an electrical pole just next to the police station," Jayalakshmi told Reuters news agency by phone.

'Driver escaped'

The Press Trust of India reported the driver fled the scene after running over the protesters and crashing into some shops.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi offered his condolences to the families of the victims. State Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu announced compensation of 500,000 rupees ($7,700) each for the families of the dead.

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

On Wednesday, a bus swerved off a mountain road in northern India, killing 44 people.

Source: News agencies