Car crash in western India kills child, injures lawmaker Hema Malini

Politician Hema Malini at a rally venue in Mathura in May 2015.
Politician Hema Malini at a rally venue in Mathura in May 2015.AFP

NEW DELHI (AFP) - A car accident involving popular Bollywood actress and Indian lawmaker Hema Malini killed a four-year-old girl late Thursday and injured several others including the politician, reports and an official said.

The 66-year-old member of parliament in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was rushed to a local hospital with minor injuries after her Mercedes reportedly collided with a small hatchback in the western desert state of Rajasthan.

"One girl child has died in the accident," local state lawmaker Shankar Lal Sharma told reporters.

"Hema has injuries above her eyes, on her back and legs. I drove her to the hospital in my car. She was in pain," he added.

The impact killed the four-year-old girl in the other car and injured three co-passengers and the driver, who were also taken to hospital, the Press Trust of India cited a local administrator as saying.

Malini, an MP from northern Uttar Pradesh state, was reportedly travelling from the Taj Mahal city of Agra to Rajasthan's capital of Jaipur when the accident occurred.

Television images showed the severely crumpled front end of her luxury car and the actor holding a bloodied handkerchief as her forehead bled.

Deadly traffic accidents are common in India, with more than 200,000 fatalities annually, according to the World Health Organisation.

Last year, BJP MP Gopinath Munde was killed in an accident in New Delhi, barely a week after taking up his new post as rural affairs minister in Modi's right-wing Cabinet.

Transport analysts attribute the huge number of accidents to poor roads, badly maintained vehicles and reckless driving.