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4 dead, 32 hurt as Shillong-bound bus turns turtle

Bus
Remains of the ill-fated night bus after it was cut open using blow torches, on National Highway-51 in West Garo Hills District, on Friday. (UB)

TURA: A Tura night bus packed with long distance passengers bound for Shillong met with a tragic accident at Dollongre, near Anogre, leading to the death of four passengers and injury to as many as 32 others on Thursday night.
The tragedy occurred on an isolated stretch of the National Highway 51 at approximately 10:30 pm, two hours after the Air Bus Travels passenger vehicle (ML-08 A 0609) left Tura in a convoy bound for the state capital.
This is one of the biggest bus tragedies to hit Garo Hills as far as night travel is concerned.
The bus which happened to be the third vehicle in the convoy and reportedly driven by one Dilbor Singh lost control while negotiating a bend at Dollonggre, 40 km from Tura, and plunged into the side of the road where it capsized leaving scores of passengers trapped inside.
One passenger, Odito Hajong, who worked in the library of Tura Government College, died at the accident site while three others – Prelina Momin (39) of Chutipara (Assam), Kripson Sangma (45) of Karbi Anglong and Bhim Thapa of MLP 3 rd Battalion and hailing from Pynthorumkrah (Shillong) succumbed to their injuries at the Tura Civil Hospital.
As many as 32 others sustained injuries and had to be admitted to the hospital in Tura.
Eight injured passengers in critical condition have been shifted to Guwahati for specialized treatment.
The eight critically injured passengers moved to Guwahati include Lalthang Chawng, Ranjib Sangma, Robio Syiemio, Surojit Rabha, Rusmi Hajong, Sudip Karmakar and Napoleon Chisim.
Two BSF jawans, T.C. Meena and Sainass Kumar of 65 Bn, who were travelling in the ill-fated bus and had sustained serious injuries, have also been transferred by ambulance to Guwahati by the paramilitary force.
One of the first teams to arrive at the accident site on Thursday night were a team of BSF troopers from the 183 C Company deployed at Jengjal Airport premises who helped to retrieve and shift several of the injured passengers from the mangled bus.
The task of retrieving the passengers was extremely difficult as the steel frame of the bus had twisted at several places.
It was left to the West Garo Hills Police to deploy several teams from the Fire and Rescue Brigade who brought in blow torches to cut through the steel frame of the bus to extract the injured.
“The rescue teams worked through the night and the entire operation was completed only by 6:30 in the morning,” informed district police chief Mukesh Kr. Singh.

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