From Our Correspondent
NONGPOH: Four people in an auto rickshaw were crushed to death after an overloaded truck overturned and fell on the rickshaw on Thursday. The truck bearing registration number ASO1 T 3104 capsized on a auto rickshaw ML 10 A 0877 and crushed to death the ill-fated passengers under its weight.
Eye witnesses blame the dilapidated condition of the stretch of road which was not repaired over a long period for the incident. With no one to check overloading, the truck which was carrying planks well beyond its capacity of 9 tonnes capsized due to its sheer weight. The incident occurred at 11.30 am along the NH-40 in Dalongnar under Nongpoh Police Station which is currently under construction. It may be reminded that M/s Ramky Company had abandoned this project after conducting excavation of the lands for widening the road for the four-laning project.
The auto rickshaw, which was packed with six passengers and the driver, was proceeding towards Umdihar from Iew Mawlong (it being a market day). It was while the truck was negotiating a sharp turning that it lost balance and toppled on the auto rickshaw. This was due to the pathetic road conditions with crater sized potholes.
Three passengers, one of them identified as Berlin Syngkli (25), had a miraculous escape as they managed to jump out of the rickshaw.
On receipt of information of the accident, EMRI service and Nongpoh Traffic Police personnel rushed to the spot. It was a sorry sight as the auto rickshaw driver identified as Erphru Nongrum, aged around 40 years from Mawiapbang village was still alive and struggling to come out of the wreckage but died because the truck could not be lifted due to its weight. People were seen removing the planks from the body of the truck to enable the crane to lift it and release the victims.
The police made all efforts to rescue Nongrum but failed. Two earth movers (JCB) and one recovery van, were pressed into action for lifting up the truck. Nongrum was immediately pulled out and rushed to Nongpoh Civil Hospital but he was declared brought dead.
The bodies of three passengers identified as Badarishisha Shadap (17) of Umdihar, Phelista Marsing (56), Khriamoh Pariong of Mawiapbang were shifted to the Nongpoh Civil Hospital morgue for post mortem.
A huge crowd gathered at the accident site and all vehicles came to a standstill. A number of air passengers bound for Guwahati airport missed their flights as no vehicle could pass through the narrow stretch.
Meanwhile the KSU, HNYF, FKJGP, HNYF and the Nongpoh Auto Rickshaw Association flayed the state government for the pace at which the construction of the four lane project is going on and for not taking steps to repair some of the worst stretches on the National Highway 40 which is posing a grave danger to moving vehicles.