Guwahati, Sep 20 (UNI) At least 25 people died and around 40 others have fallen seriously ill after inhaling poisonous gas when they went to pilfer crude oil from a goods train at Chaiding in Karbi Anglong district late last night.
According to official sources, a group of 70 miscreants from the area halted a goods train at Chaiding between Dhansiri and Rangapahar and tried to unload crude oil from a wagon.
As they started opening the wagon full of high density Aviation Turbine Fuel(ATF), it exploded leaving more than twenty people dead on the spot, sources informed.
More than forty who were also among these gathered to pilfer crude oil have fallen seriously ill. Notably, two NSCN(IM) cadres are also in the list of the deceased, sources added.
According to Dimapur Superintendent of Police Liremo Lotha, more than half a dozen people are feared dead inside Nagaland as the incident occurred on the Nagaland-Assam border.
Some of the seriously ill people were rushed to Dimapur civil hospital while others had been admitted to Dhansiri civil hospital.
Twenty bodies had been recovered so far but some bodies were lifted before the dawn fearing some other sensational revelations, sources added.
The police source informed that Railway employees were involved in the incident as an organized crime syndicate was operating for a long time in stealing crude from the wagons that were coming from Nuwaligar oil fields of upper Assam.
The ill fated wagon was on the way to Mugalsarai in Uttar Pradesh.
It may be recalled that for the last couple of months, some miscreants aided and abetted by a section of NF Railway officials were unloading crude oil at gunpoint and last nights incident was one of the attempt, sources stated.
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