Guwahati, Apr 20 (UNI) At least 52 people drowned and 27 suffered serious injuries when a bus carrying a marriage party drowned near Sarupeta in Barpeta district of lower Asom late last night.
''As the bus was travelling in a village road, it fell into a ditch after trying to cross a bridge,'' Additional Superintendent of Police Jiban Singh said while confirming the incident.
Amongst the dead were 24 women and 10 children. The bus was packed to capacity. The marriage party was travelling from nearby Sorbhog town to the bride's house near Sarupeta. The incident occurred about two kilometres from the bride's house. The groom, who was sitting near the door, is in hospital in a serious condition.
Villagers rushed to the spot immediately and rescued 27 people from the bus which was completely drowned. Darkness and heavy rains hamstrung their efforts. This morning 47 bodies were recovered as the bus was raised from the ditch.
According to police the road was being repaired and when the bus was just leaving the small bridge, the newly laid land, softened by heavy overnight rain, gave in sending the vehicle plunging into the ditch ten feet below.
The ditch was not deep enough but continuous rain had turned it into a huge watery grave as it was one of the worst accidents in living memory of Asom.
Some of the injured were sifted to the Guwahati Medical College Hospital(GMCH).
UNI MT PL RD 1422