Three minor sisters were killed when a container truck tilted and fell on them while unloading coal in Bhiwandi tehsil in Thane district of Maharashtra, police said on Wednesday.
Their two-year-old sister escaped unhurt in the accident which occurred at Tembivili village on Tuesday night at a brick kiln, where their parents were employed as workers, a Bhiwandi taluka police station official said.
Four persons, including the brick kiln owner, were arrested in connection with the incident, police said.
A container truck was unloading coal at the brick kiln when its hydraulic system developed a snag due to which the truck tilted on one side and fell on the three sisters who were sleeping near the spot, he said.
The girls, aged between three to seven years, were daughters of a brick kiln worker-couple, the official said.
Police registered a case under section 304 A (causing death by negligence) of the Indian Penal Code against the arrested persons, who were later produced before a local court which remanded them in police custody for two days.
The mother of the four girls had allowed the three siblings to sleep in a thatched hut in the brick kiln and placed the toddler in a cradle made of clothes and hung it to a tree by the side of their hut, villagers said.
Since the two-year-old child was some distance away from the hut, she escaped unhurt, they said.
The police said the father of the victims had gone out to the toilet at the time of the incident.
According to the victims' father, the family - comprising the couple and their four daughters - had been staying in the thatched hut in the brick kiln itself. His parents reside just a distance away.
Those arrested included Gopinath Madvi, the owner of the brick kiln, Suresh Ramdas Patil, who had brought the coal, and truck driver Toufik Shaikh, the police said.