MY KOLKATA EDUGRAPH
ADVERTISEMENT
regular-article-logo Sunday, 21 April 2024

12 persons dead after picnic bus collides with coal-laden truck in Upper Assam

Mishaps take place regularly during winters, especially in the morning, when it is extremely foggy in Upper Assam. Chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma urged the public not to leave for picnic spots early in the morning

Umanand Jaiswal Guwahati Published 04.01.24, 08:18 AM
The wreckage of the bus that collided with a truck at Dergaon in Golaghat district of Assam on Wednesday.

The wreckage of the bus that collided with a truck at Dergaon in Golaghat district of Assam on Wednesday. PTI picture

At least 12 persons died in an early morning collision between a picnic bus and a coal-laden truck in Upper Assam on Wednesday, prompting the administration to issue an SOP to regulate the plying of vehicles carrying picnic-goers to prevent a repeat.

The head-on collision on the national highway at Balijan in Golaghat district around 4.30am also left 32 injured. The injured have been hospitalised at the Jorhat Medical College and Hospital where the condition of seven is stated to be critical.

ADVERTISEMENT

There were 49 persons in the picnic bus travelling from Kamarbandha in Golaghat district to Tilinga Mandir (temple of bells) in Tinsukia district and from there to Bogibeel in Dibrugarh district, covering a distance of about 235km one way.

Among the deceased were the truck and bus drivers, an official said. The youngest victim was a seven-year-old girl and the eldest was a 60-year-old woman. Ten picnickers and the two drivers perished in the mishap.

Soon after, the state government decided to come up with a standard operating procedure (SOP) for buses ferrying picnic-goers.

According to the SOP, picnic buses will not be allowed to ply before sunrise and have to return before sunset.

Mishaps take place regularly during winters, especially in the morning, when it is extremely foggy in Upper Assam.

Chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma urged the public not to leave for picnic spots early in the morning.

“The police will be issuing an SOP to regulate picnic buses. They can operate in the morning only after the fog clears because nothing is seen in the fog,” he said in an interaction with the media after the mishap.

Offering his condolences to the bereaved families, Sarma posted on X, “The local administration is providing all necessary support to the injured in this difficult hour. Prayers for their swift recovery.”

A shocked transport minister Parimal Suklabaidya, who had undertaken a bike rally to create awareness about road mishaps last month, said they were assessing the cause of the accident.

"Special DG, Assam Police; IG, Law & Order; Commissioner, Transport Department; State Project Director of Lead Agency on Road Safety & Executive Director of NHIDCL are rushing to the spot for enquiry & necessary assistance," he posted on X.

December to January is the picnic season in Assam. Visibility usually improves by around 6am but it could be an issue for commuters till 9am sometimes if there is heavy fog, a resident said.

The Prime Minister’s Office in a post on X said: "Pained by the loss of lives due to a road mishap in Golaghat, Assam. Condolences to the bereaved families. May the injured recover at the earliest.”

“The local administration is providing all possible assistance to those affected. An ex-gratia of Rs. 2 lakh from PMNRF would be given to the next of kin of each deceased. The injured would be given Rs. 50,000," PMO added.

Follow us on:
ADVERTISEMENT