Around 200-300 people were walking towards a church when the accident happened in the state of Zacatecas

A truck ploughed into pilgrims after its brakes failed in Mexico killing at least 26 people, including four children.

The driver is believed to have fled the scene after jumping from the moving vehicle. Investigators have been unable to locate him for questioning.

The dump truck, which was carrying tonnes of sand, ran over the pilgrims who were marching toward the San Gregorio Magno church.

The disaster left pools of blood and shattered glass on the street.

Health Minister Mercedes Juan Lopez told Radio Formula that some 120 people were hurt and 42 of them remained hospitalized, including 10 in serious condition as a result of the accident on the main road of Mazapil in the mining region of Zacatecas state.

According to AFP the dead children were aged one, three, four and five.

Filiberto Campos, the parish priest, said: “There was a party, dance, fireworks. Everything was going well. There was a happy atmosphere.”

“I was walking with the people who led the contingent when a big dust cloud appeared. There was a loud noise. We ran and saw a terrible scene.”

The religious procession was part of the town’s annual celebration of Father Jesus, a saint who has been venerated since the 16th century which takes place between July 29 and August 6.