At least 13 people, including seven women, were killed and five more injured when a three-wheeler in which they were travelling was hit by a speeding truck in Mahabubnagar district on Sunday evening, police said.
The incident happened near Kottapalli village in Midjil mandal of the district when the truck rammed the over-crowded three-wheeler vehicle coming from the opposite direction, a senior police official said.
The impact of the accident was so severe that 12 of the occupants of the auto-rickshaw died on the spot, he added.
Another person died while being transported to a hospital, the official said.
The deceased were farm labourers, who were returning home in Kottapalli village, Mahabubnagar district Superintendent of Police (SP) Rema Rajeshwari said.
A total of 18 people - 17 farm labourers and the driver - were travelling in the three-wheeler when the accident occurred, the police official said.
"It was a head-on collision... The lorry driver has been taken into custody," she said.
Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao offered condolences and and instructed the officials concerned to offer the best medical facilities to the injured, an official release said.
Meanwhile, a group of people, including the family members and relatives of the deceased, held a protest demanding justice for those killed in the accident.
When police were shifting the bodies of the deceased for post-mortem, the protesters initially blocked the road, alleging that the ambulance arrived late and raised slogans demanding the government to immediately declare a compensation.
The SP intervened and convinced them to withdraw the demonstration.