FROM A CORRESPONDENT
SHILLONG, Feb 26: In a tragic road accident, at least 17 people were killed and 53 more injured in West Khasi Hills on Sunday morning when they were on their way to attend a Church meeting. According to the West Khasi Hills district authority, the mishap occurred at around 8:25 am near Nongspung village. The churchgoers were on an overcrowded truck carrying nearly 70 people. They were en route to attend the Synod of the Presbyterian Church at Nonglang near Langpih. The truck rammed into a concrete barricade on the tiol highway. Of the 17 dead till filing of this report, 12 perished on the spot, while five others succumbed at Nongstoin Civil Hospital.
West Khasi Hills Superintendent of Police Sylvester Nongtnger said 9 women and a 13-year-old girl were among the dead. All those travelling in the ill-fated truck were from Nginiong, Nongbudum and Mawbyrkong villages fall under Nongstoin police station.
“The truck was apparently over-speeding and the driver could not maneuver the turning,” said West Khasi Hills Deputy Commissioner Arun Kumar Khembhavi. Magistrates, policemen, doctors and locals were coorditing in rescue operations. The injured people were shifted to Nongstoin Civil Hospital and Markasa Hospital. Some of the severely injured persons have been referred to Shillong. Meanwhile, Chief Minister Mukul Sangma has expressed deep grief and anguishes over the loss of lives in a tragic road accident in West Khasi Hills which took the lives of 17 Church goers beside injuring 53 others. In a condolence message the Chief Minister said. “I am deeply saddened by the tragedy to the accident en route to Nonglang village today resulting in loss of a number of precious lives and serious injuries to many of our beloved people.”