Hajo/Golaghat: Thirty-six people were
killed and 25 others injured in two separate mishaps in Assam
where a bus carrying a marriage party plunged into a pond and
an oil tanker caught fire this morning.
The first accident took place when a bus carrying a
marriage party fell into a 40-feet deep pond in Kamrup (rural)
district after the wooden bridge it was crossing gave in.
31 passengers, including 12 women, were killed in the
mishap last night. The bus was going to Dihu from Guwahati.
Among the killed were the bridegroom Naba Kumar Sarma,
his parents and friends. Three children were also among the
victims, police said, adding it was not clear as to how many
passengers were travelling in the bus.
Six critically injured passengers were rescued and
admitted to Mukundo Kakoti Civil hospital in neighbouring
Nalbari district, the police said.
The bus was taken out of the pond by the police with
the help of locals and Army personnel.
The state government has announced a compensation of
Rs one lakh to the next of the kin of the dead and Rs 50,000
to those injured.
In the second accident, five persons were charred to
death and 20 others injured when an overturned oil tanker they
were collecting oil from burst into flames in Badulipara in
The tanker carrying ten tonnes of petrol was going to
Jorhat from Guwahati when it overturned at Badulipura on
National Highway 37 and soon some locals gathered at the spot
to collect fuel. When they were taking out the oil, an
overhead wire fell on the tanker which burst into flames,
The locals collecting the fuel were trapped in the
blaze, police said, adding five persons were charred to death
and are yet to be identified.
20 injured have been admitted to various hospitals in
A nearby house was also gutted in the blaze and the
inmates are yet to be traced, police said.
Fire brigade was rushed to the spot but it had a
difficult time controlling the blaze. Authorities then
dispatched fire tankers from the Numaligarah Refinery to douse
the fire which has been now brought under control
Meanwhile, locals in Kamrup were upset with the
delayed response of the National Disaster Rescue Force. The
Force, which arrived at the spot at 6 AM, was sent back by
Sources of the rescue force said they could not start
rescue operations at night due to the non-availability of
night vision equipment.
Rubbishing the claims, the locals said they had rushed
to the spot with lanterns and fished out the bodies from the
pond and managed to save the lives of six passengers.
The locals were also upset about the poor maintenance
of the bridge which had no side railings. Coming down heavily
on the PWD authorities for not repairing the bridge, they said
a similar accident had occurred on the bridge 5 years ago in
which 12 people were killed.
According to eyewitnesses, there was a speed breaker
before the wooden bridge which the driver failed to see and
the vehicle plunged into the pond.
The All Assam Students Union said the wooden bridge
was narrow and has witnessed many accidents in the past.