SHILLONG, June 16 - All 25 bodies from Tuesday’s bus accident have been retrieved from a 500 feet gorge at Sonapur in East Jaintia Hills district, with rescue team recovering 18 bodies today.
Today, the remaining 18 bodies were recovered from the site. Yesterday, seven were retrieved, taking the count to 25.
“All 25 bodies have been recovered from the accident site. Now the identification process of the victims is on,” Director General of Police, Rajiv Mehta told The Assam Tribune.
On Wednesday, the police confirmed 29 people were killed and nine injured. The officials said, seven bodies were retrieved and 22 bodies were at the accident site when rescue operations were called off Wednesday evening. “There were 25 dead,” Mehta said.
Rescue operations began at 7 am today and continued throughout the day. Apart from the personnel from State police, BSF, CRPF, Home Guard, fire and emergency service and local villagers, the rescue operation also saw deployment of heavy machineries.
“Crane and recovery vans were deployed so that the wreckage of the bus could be pulled out and find if there are bodies beneath it,” a police official at the rescue site said.
However, due to difficult terrain and thick vegetation in the gorge, rescue efforts have been slow and tedious. Police officials said, the 16 bodies were ferried in boats on the river Lukha to Borsora village and then taken to Khliehriat Community Health Centre. The necessary formalities like post mortem and identification of the victims are on.
Meanwhile, nine people injured in the accident are recuperating at Civil Hospital Jowai and North Eastern Indira Gandhi Institute of Regional Health and Medical Sciences (NEIGRIHMS) here.
Four of the five injured, who are recuperating at NEIGRIHMS, are out of danger. However, doctors at the Institute said, one of the victims is in critical condition with head injuries.