SIVASAGAR, Sept 23 - In one of the worst road accidents in recent times, nine passengers of a Jorhat-bound minibus were killed on the spot and several others injured when it collided head on with a Tinsukia-bound bus on the NH-37 near Demow Thowra Doul around 8:30 this morning.
Six of the deceased have been identified so far. They are Biki Kalita of Saolkora (driver of the minibus); Naren Bharali of Sukapha Nagar, Demow; Binoy Baidya of Silapathar, Dhemaji; Saurav Sarmah of Moran; Hiranya Chetia of Dihingia Block, Dhemaji; and Subrata Bora of Chiring Gaon, Dibrugarh. Subrata Bora was reportedly back from Spain recently and she was doing her research work under Assam Agricultural University, Jorhat.
Minutes after the accident the local people came rushing to the rescue of the injured and they pulled out the dead from under the overturned and badly smashed minibus that fell into a ditch by the side of the road.
Sivasagar SP Amitabh Sinha, Sivasagar ADC Moon Gogoi and other officials rushed to the spot immediately and took measures to shift the injured to Chaolung Siukapha Hospital at Rajabari and Demow Community Health Centre at Raichai, besides sending the bodies of the deceased to Sivasagar Civil Hospital for postmortem.
The injured are Rashmi Rekha Kachari, Islam Ahmed, Pradip Dihingia, Debashis Nath, Bipul Tamuli, Kudush Ali, Bhogeswar Baruah, Deokon (handyman), Diganata Borgohain, Ghanashyam Baruah, Nanda Bora and Salmee Das.
According to eyewitnesses, both the vehicles were at considerable speed even when they were about to cross each other at that point and the visibility might also have been blurred a little by the rain.
Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal has condoled the death of passengers and directed State Transport Commissioner Birendra Mittal to institute a probe into tragic road accident near Demow. Sonowal also instructed the health department to take adequate measures for giving treatment to the injured.
It may be mentioned here that the four-laning works of the 82-km Demow-Jorhat portion of the NH-37 under the National Highway Infrastructure Development Corporation are going on at snail�s pace and are far behind the schedule as it should have been completed in between November 2017 and May 2018.
The construction works allegedly are being done haphazardly in almost the entire stretch as the roadsides have been dug up right up to the black-topped portion leaving little room for two big vehicles to pass or cross one another. During rainy days, the drivers also do not want to get their vehicles far to the broken sides for the fear of getting skewed or skidded off.