Killer highway claims 29 lives

9 passengers injured l Rescue team retrieves nine bodies lCRPF personnel among dead

Rescue operation is on near the debris of the ill-fated bus. (UB)
Rescue operation is on near the debris of the ill-fated bus. (UB)

JOWAI/SHILLONG:  Twenty-nine people were killed and nine others injured in Tuesday night’s horrific road mishap near Sonapur Mandir in East Jaintia Hills district.
The ill-fated  night bus (AS01-EC-7494) of  Arhans Coach on its way from Silchar to Guwahati skidded off the road and plunged into a 500-feet gorge near  Sonapur  Mandir at around 9. 30 pm.
“At least 29 persons have died and nine others critically injured in the ill-fated bus. The number of casualty could increase,” the district police chief Spill Thamar said.
Among the dead also include CRPF personnel.
“The spot is near a bridge on Lukha river. So far nine bodies have been ferried using boats as the gorge is near Lukha river and it is impossible to carry the bodies up,” he said.
According to him, four persons were rescued in operations on Tuesday night itself, while five others were rescued early this morning. They were rushed to North East Indira Gandhi Regional Institute of Health and Medical Sciences (NEIGRIHMS)  in Shillong, Jowai Civil Hospital and Khliehriat community health centre.
The condition of two rescued persons was stated to be critical.
Thamar said a few more bodies were yet to be reached as they were covered by the debris of the bus.
There was no woman and child in the bus.
According to BSF Deputy Commandant, ME Zingkhai, nine bodies were brought to Borsara village on boats all along the downstream of Lukha river and 20 are still remaining on the site of the accident.
The rescue operations to retrieve the bodies have, however, been called off due to bad weather conditions and will be resumed on Thursday, police said.
Three rescue personnel, who were putting all efforts to rescue the injured people, have also been injured as boulders rolling from the top hit them.
All three were rushed to Khliehriat CHC for medication.
The bus fell around 500-feet down into a vertical gorge. The area where the bus fell is dark and the rescue team has to use ropes to climb down to rescue the injured.
It is a tough task for the rescue team to go deep down and bring those injured persons.
The driver of the bus Jakir Hussain, the second driver identified as Raju and two unidentified helpers were among the dead.
Some of the injured persons were identified as Sonu (Singh and, Sunil Kumar, both  CRPF personnel , Indra Kumar  and  Dillip Kumar from Bihar, Siprul Haque  (Silchar)  who suffered some minor injuries  and Yugraj Singh of Manipur.
Among the dead passengers, the identity of Sunil Sharma could be ascertained.
Three passengers who suffered serious injuries have been brought to  NEIGRIHMS.
They are Sunil Kumar (28), Rajiv Kumar  Saberi (40), and Sonu Singh (26) from  CRPF battalion, Polo.
While Sunil Kumar has suffered a fracture in his leg,   Rajiv Kumar  Saberi suffered a head injury and   Sonu Singh  has internal bleeding  and his condition is serious, the NEIGRIHMS sources said.

Death trap

lFebruary 24, 2016: A helper of a truck run over by an oil tanker at Malidor
lFebruary 23,2016: Night bus bound for Tripura went off the road near Ratacherra weighbridge, one  commuter killed.
lJanuary 26: 2016: 11 passengers killed, 21 injured when a night bus skidded off the road and fell into a deep gorge at Tongseng village.
lAugust 8: 2012: 30 passengers killed, 26 others injured when a night bus of Sherowali Travels (AS01Y-7379) bound for  Agartala from Guwahati plunged 250 feet into a gorge near  Tongseng
lDecember 18: 2009: 8 passengers killed and 20 injured when an Agartala bound bus from Guwahati plunged 500 feet into a gorge near Sonapur.

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