At least five people lost their lives while another three are said to be in critical condition after the vehicle they were travelling in hit a parked truck near the Nongalbibra market late last night.
The incident took place at about 11:30 pm in the South Garo Hills town.
According to reports, the deceased comprised two children and three women. All of the victims, including those injured, were residents of Pathargittim village. Another child in the vehicle had a miraculous escape and emerged unscathed.
The victims were apparently returning from the Song Krittan competition in Nongalbibra, where the women had set up a snack shop.
According to locals, the group was returning home when the driver, apparently in drunken stupor, hit the parked truck at high speed, leading to four of the victims losing their lives on the spot. Another succumbed to injury after being brought to the Williamnagar Civil Hospital.
Immediately after the incident, locals led by former MLA, Rophul Marak, moved the injured to Williamnagar before three of them were referred to Guwahati due to the extent of their injuries. One of the injured, identified as the driver of the vehicle, is said to be in critical state.
The three injured that have been taken to Guwahati have been identified as Ayan Sangma (7), Sengchi Sangma (15) and Badal Lama, who, until the filing of this report, is still unconscious. The mothers of both the injured children lost their lives in the accident.
Meanwhile, an effort to garner donations to cover the victims’ hospital expenses has been initiated by Marak, who is in Guwahati with the injured.
“They are extremely poor and will not be able to afford the treatment on their own. I would like to request all like-minded people to come forward and donate to save the three that have been injured,” he said.
Superintendent of Police, Priyangshu Pandey, rushed to Nongalbibra to check on the injured as well make an assessment of the situation.