Many of the victims were children from the family which was crammed into the autorickshaw and travelling to a temple in Telangana state late Saturday, police said.
The three-wheeler, carrying 18 people in total, rammed into the truck in Adilabad district, local police spokesman Gurudev, who uses one name, told AFP by phone.
“Fifteen people died and eight of them were children, unfortunately. Even the driver didn’t survive,” Gurudev said, adding that all the victims were from the autorickshaw.
“The roads are in bad condition in that area and it was dark. There is road construction happening on one stretch, converging two lanes into one. That may have caused the accident,” he said.
Many of those in the autorickshaw were brick kiln labourers from the western state of Maharashtra who had migrated to Telangana for work.
Fatal traffic accidents are common in India, which has some of the world’s deadliest roads with more than 200,000 fatalities annually, according to the World Health Organization.
Earlier this month, 14 people were killed after a packed minibus fell into a deep gorge in India’s northern Himalayan region.
Transport analysts attribute the huge number of accidents to poor roads, badly maintained vehicles and reckless driving.