Guwahati/Golaghat, May 31: Thirty-six people were killed and 17 others injured in two road mishaps in Assam where a bus carrying a marriage party fell into a pond and an oil tanker caught fire this morning.
31 passengers, including 12 women, were killed and six persons critically injured when a bus carrying a marriage party fell into a pond in Kamrup (Rural) district last night. The bus travelling from Guwahati to Dihu in Rangia sub-division of the district, fell into the 40 ft deep pond at Rajabari when a wooden bridge it was crossing gave in. Among the killed were the bridegroom Naba Kumar Sarma, his parents and friends. Three children were also among the victims, police said.
Six passengers were rescued and admitted to Mukundo Kakoti Civil hospital in neighbouring Nalbari district, the police said. The condition of the patients was critical, The bus was taken out of the pond by the police with the help of locals and Army personnel. In the second accident, five persons were charred to death and 12 others injured when an overturned oil tanker they were collecting oil from burst into flames in Badulipara in Golaghat district early this morning.
The tanker going to Jorhat overturned at Badulipura and soon some nearby 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, police said.
The locals collecting the fuel were trapped in the blaze, police said, adding five persons were charred to death.12 of the injured have been admitted to separate hospitals in the district.
Some nearby houses were also damaged in the fire.Fire brigade was rushed to the spot but it had a difficult time controlling the blaze. Authorities then sent
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 late arrival of the National Disaster Rescue Force. The Force, which arrived at the spot at 6 AM, was sent back by them. 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 vocal 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. PTI