Survivor recounts horrifying incident
Morung Express News
Chümoukedima | July 2
In a tragic road accident, 5 persons were killed and 3 were severely injured when a regional taxi ‘Ecco van’ was hit by a Tata truck, coming from Imphal, Manipur, on the National Highway (NH) 29 road at Kukidolong area, near Jharnapani on July 2.
Speaking to The Morung Express, the driver of the van narrated the sequence of events leading up to the accident by explaining that in the morning he had picked up 6 individuals (non-Nagas) who had traveled from Bihar and arrived at Dimapur Railway Station. “As there were 7 of us in the vehicle, I picked up another passenger (Naga) from the station and headed towards Kohima,” he said.
After making a pit-stop to refuel at a gas station in Kukidolong, he recounted that as they were continuing along the road, a truck was coming from the opposite end of the road, in a ‘zig-zag’ manner. He noted that the truck was advancing towards them from the ‘wrong lane’ of the highway.
“As I tried to steer my vehicle away from the in-coming truck, it hit the left side of the car on the passenger’s side,” the driver recalled. The impact caused the car to flip over several times killing three passengers on the stop.
“After the accident, I later learned that one church organization’s car had helped us reach the hospital,” he added.
The driver had received injuries on his head, chest and legs but was later discharged from the hospital on his own volition in the evening.
Meanwhile, according to a press release issued by ADCP (W&J) Dimapur, Officiating Dy Commissioner of Police (Crime) & PRO, Dimapur, it was learned that the police had received a call at around 10:01 hours from Traffic Control Chümoukedima about the accident.
A team was immediately rushed to the spot wherein on reaching New Chümoukedima area, it was found that the fleeing driver and the Tata truck were intercepted by a team of police escort of the Deputy Chief Minister of Nagaland, Y Patton after a hot chase. The driver and the truck were taken into custody.
Three persons, all male, were found dead on the spot while the injured were rushed to CIHSR where two more persons, both male, succumbed to their injuries, the release informed. In this connection a case has been registered and further investigation is being taken up.
NPCC questions authorities
In a separate press release issued by its Communication’s department, the Nagaland Pradesh Congress Committee (NPCC) questioned the state government and the NHAI’s unreasonable delay in completion of the project. It alleged that signage alerting travelers of oncoming traffic is non-existent and also responsible for multiple mishaps. The party also demanded that adequate compensation should be given to the next of kin of the deceased and also to the injured.