Hajo/Golaghat: Nearly 36 people were killed and 25 injured in two separate accidents in Assam. A bus carrying a marriage party toppled into a rivulet and an oil tanker caught fire on Tuesday morning.

The first mishap took place when a bus carrying a marriage party fell into 40-feet deep pond in Kamrup (rural) district after the wooden bridge it was crossing gave in.

Around 31 passengers, including 12 women, were killed in the mishap on Monday night. They were going to Dihu from Guwahati.

The bridegroom Naba Kumar Sarma, his parents and friends were killed in the accident. Three children were also among the victims, police said, adding it was not clear as to how many passengers were travelling in the bus.

Six critically injured passengers were rescued and admitted to Mukundo Kakoti Civil hospital in neighbouring Nalbari district, the police said.

The bus was taken out of the pond by the police with the help of locals and Army personnel.

The state government has announced a compensation of Rs one lakh to the next of the kin of the dead and Rs 50,000 to those injured.

In the second accident, five persons were charred to death and 20 others injured after an overturned oil tanker they were collecting oil from burst into flames in Badulipara in Golaghat district.

The tanker carrying 10 tonnes of petrol was going to Jorhat from Guwahati when it overturned at Badulipura on National Highway 37 and soon some locals gathered at the spot to collect fuel.

When they were taking out the oil, an overhead wire fell on the tanker which burst into flames, police said.

The locals collecting the fuel were trapped in the blaze, police said, adding five persons were charred to death and are yet to be identified.

Nearly 20 injured were admitted to various hospitals in the district.

A nearby house was also gutted in the blaze and the inmates are yet to be traced, police said.

Fire brigade was rushed to the spot but it had a difficult time controlling the blaze. Authorities then dispatched fire tankers from the Numaligarah Refinery to douse the fire which has been now brought under control.

Meanwhile, locals in Kamrup were upset with the delayed response of the National Disaster Rescue Force. The Force, which arrived at the spot at 6 am, was sent back by them.

Sources of the rescue force said they could not start rescue operations at night due to the non-availability of night vision equipment.

Slamming the claims, the locals said they had rushed to the spot with lanterns and fished out the bodies from the pond and managed to save the lives of six passengers.

The locals were also upset about the poor maintenance of the bridge which had no side railings. Coming down heavily on the PWD authorities for not repairing the bridge, they said a similar accident had occurred on the bridge 5 years ago in which 12 people were killed.

The All Assam Students Union said the wooden bridge was narrow and has witnessed many accidents in the past.

(Agencies)