Floods wash away road, SUV

An SUV with four people onboard was washed away in the early hours of Wednesday, according to eyewitnesses, when floodwaters swept a 100m stretch of road.

By Gautam Sarkar
  • Published 13.09.18
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GAPING HOLE: People gather at the site where floodwaters washed away the road early on Wednesday morning. Picture by Gautam Sarkar

Naugachia: An SUV with four people onboard was washed away in the early hours of Wednesday, according to eyewitnesses, when floodwaters swept a 100m stretch of road.

The stretch of Road No. 14, connecting Janawhabi Chak (on the northern end of Vikramshila bridge) with Naugachia via Tetri, was washed away by the Kalbalia dhar, a rivulet of the Ganga, 19km north of Bhagalpur around 4.13am.

An autorickshaw was on the road when it started cracking. The nine people who were in the vehicle managed to jump out before it was washed away. Naugachia sub-division officials said the survivors claimed that an SUV that was behind them slipped in the water and was washed away.

Darbesh Mandal, a resident of Majhia village in Katihar, was returning from Deoghar in Jharkhand with his family. His son, Murli who was driving the autorickshaw, said: "We crossed Janawhabi Chak in pitch-dark conditions. Within 10 minutes of travelling on Road No. 14, we heard a loud sound and the vehicle started trembling. I first thought it was an earthquake but then noticed cracks appearing on the road. I started to shout as I parked the auto on the road. We somehow jumped out and ran back. Some of us received injuries but thank God, we were all saved. We saw the auto disappearing into the water in seconds."

Besides Darbesh and Murli, Durgi Mandal, Nanku Mandal, Pinky Devi, Haveli Devi, Guriya Kumari, Premlata Devi and infant Puja were saved.

Naugachia sub-divisional police officer Parbendar Bharati said: "The passengers of the autorickshaw claimed that a Bolero coming behind them slipped into the water where the road cracked, and disappeared into the floodwater. State disaster response force personnel are trying to locate the vehicles."

One of the rescue personnel said: "The swift current could have swept away the vehicles far away from the mishap site. So we are keeping a watch on the entire area."

This road is one of the oldest in Naugachia and serves as an alternative to the approach road connecting National Highway 30 with National Highway 80 via the Vikramshila bridge across the Ganga.

Driver Rabindra Yadav said: "After the road was washed away, Bhagalpur-Naugachia traffic is in bad shape."