Guwahati, May 29: Seven students of Assam Engineering College (AEC) here died on the spot when the vehicle (Scorpio) they were travelling in, lost control and crossed over a divider before colliding with a pick-up van coming from the other side on the Jalukbari flyover road in the wee hours of Monday, sources said.
The deceased students, who were from the same hostel (hostel number three), have been identified as Emon Baruah from Dibrugarh, Kaushik Mohan from Charaideo, Niyor Deka and Arindam Bhuwal from Guwahati, Kaushik Baruah from Mangaldoi, Upangshu Sarma from Nagaon and Raj Kiran Bhuyan from Majuli.
Three other students of the same institution were critically injured and are currently undergoing treatment in a private hospital, while three passengers of the DI pick-up van have been admitted to Gauhati Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) in a critical state.
According to reports, the mishap took place when the SUV (Scorpio) went to the other side of the road after hitting a divider and overturned before ramming into the pick-up van.
Apparently, the vehicle was at high speed before the accident even as a police inquiry and further analysis would reveal the actual cause of the mishap.
Post mortem of the deceased students have been conducted at GMCH.
Notably, the students were reported to have hired the SUV and had returned to the hostel around 9pm after an outing. However, around midnight, they along with three other students (10 students) had again ventured out of the AEC campus in the vehicle before they met with the tragic incident.
Expressing his condolences on Twitter, Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said, “Extremely anguished by the loss of young and precious lives in the road accident at Jalukbari. My deepest condolences to their parents and families. Have spoken to authorities at GMCH. All possible medical assistance is being provided to those injured.”
The chief minister also visited the mishap site on Monday morning.
Speaking to reporters at the site, Sarma, while terming the mishap as extremely unfortunate and sad, said, “Guardians of students need to keep constant touch with their wards, while at the same time, the institution’s authorities need to bolster supervision and keep close watch on the students.”
On the other hand, Assam DGP Gyanendra Pratap Singh, during his visit to the mishap site, said that the administration and enforcement agencies would leave no stone unturned to strengthen the enforcement drives against drunken driving to ensure that such incidents do not recur.
Singh further requested guardians and the institution’s authorities to take more responsibility in this regard.
In regard to the mishap, the DGP said he has asked the DCP and DTO to conduct a thorough probe and take steps to analyse the vehicle’s mechanical condition so that the findings could be discussed in our next meeting,” he said.
“Blood samples of the injured need to be collected and viscera of the deceased need to be preserved to ascertain whether it was a drunken driving case,” the DGP said.
Meanwhile, questions have been raised against the absence of security personnel at the entry/exit gates of the institution or why these gates are not closed by 10pm, thereby leaving room for unrestricted entry and exit of students.