Guwahati, Sep 20 (UNI) At least 15 people feared dead and 35 others were battling for life after inhaling poisonous gas while attempting to steal crude oil from a railway wagon deep inside Dhansiri reserve forest early this morning near the Assam-Nagaland border of Karbi Anglong district.
The NF railway sources confirmed the death of 8 people and feared that another dozen must have perished as the affected people ran for life and collapsed deep inside the jungle after inhaling gas.
The Railway sources informed that a group of about 50 people in an organised manner tried to steal crude from a stranded oil tanker coming from Tinsukia and going to Mughalsarai.
They accidentally opened a wagon carrying either LPG or some other gas being taken from Nuwalingar oil fields of Upper Assam.
The sources further said that an organised racket was operating in the area stealing crude from the wagon for quite some time.
The unofficial source put the death toll to 46 with 11 dead in Assam side and 35 in Nagaland side.
But there is no independent confirmation and Assam Police was not ruling out the possibility as well.
Senior police officials have rushed to the spot.
The incident occurred just 20 kilometer away from Dimapur, which is the nerve centre of all these activities, sources added.
UNI MT RH SS1026