GUWAHATI, Oct 26 � Nine persons, including four women, died while 16 others sustained serious injuries when a long-distance ASTC bus they were travelling in, hit the railing of a bridge and fell into a ditch in Noltoli village under Kaliabor Police Station around 2 am today.
The deceased included a standby driver of the bus. The ASTC bus was coming from Lakhimpur to Guwahati.
The deceased have been identified as Jogen Baruah (58), Ananda Bora (65), Nilima Bora (60), Rupa Barua (40), Dhan Saikia (45), Muktinath Datta (52), Renu Hazarika (35), Kusha Gogoi (45) and Dr Parinita Dutta (40).
All the deceased except Dr Dutta hailed from Lakhimpur district. Dr Dutta was from Sonitpur district.
Police said around 13 other passengers who sustained minor injuries were released from the hospital after first aid and the rest are being treated.
Those seriously injured have been shifted to the Gauhati Medical College and Hospital (GMCH).
Nagaon Superintendent of Police Arabinda Kalita told The Assam Tribune that the accident could be a result of over-speeding, or the driver might have dozed off.
�It might also be due to break failure. We are investigating the incident from all angles,� the SP said.
GMCH Superintendent Dr Ramen Talukdar informed that of the 12 injured shifted to GMCH so far, the condition of two is critical. �They are in the ICU,� Dr Talukdar said.
PTI adds: Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi has ordered an inquiry into the death of nine passengers in a bus accident in Nagaon district.
According to an official release, Gogoi asked the Secretary of the Transport Department to probe the accident. The Chief Minister also expressed his condolences and wished a speedy recovery of the injured.