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Uprooted Raj Bhavan tree kills 3

Two injured, three taxis mangled under giant eucalyptus

SHILLONG: In a freak accident, three occupants of a moving local passenger taxi were killed and two others injured at All India Radio Junction here around 4 pm on Saturday when a eucalyptus tree on the Raj Bhavan premises fell on the vehicle during the incessant rain.
Three occupants of one of the vehicles were killed and two others injured, police said. Three taxis were flattened under the trunk of the tree.
The victims have been identified as Crystal Gayle Kharnaior (23), daughter of city-based artist Raphael Warjri of Mawlai Nongkwar Block-V, Paul LB Lyngdoh (70) and taxi driver Hubert Swer (35).
The injured women are Wannysha Ksoo (27) and Newmemorial Wahlang (51).
Police said all the three vehicles were crushed and traffic in the area was affected.
The spokesperson of 108 ambulance said the massive tree pulled along with it a few electric posts in the vicinity. It also broke the boundary wall of Raj Bhavan.
Ambulances from Shillong civil hospital, Mawphlang and Umiam were dispatched.
The district disaster management team of 13 personnel from the civil defence and home guards, traffic personnel, police men and forest officials worked in tandem for 6-7 hours to recover the bodies trapped inside the local taxis.
Many citizens were of the view that the disaster was waiting to happen and the departments concerned did not act on time.
It took around half an hour to take out the first three victims from the damaged taxi. The fourth injured victim, Wahlang, was shifted only after it took one hour to pull her out from the mangled vehicle.
The doctor at the Shillong civil hospital declared three of the four victims as brought dead.

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