Rescue operation in progress Credit: EastMojo image

Sivasagar: A special team of divers from the Indian Navy is likely to reach Sivasagar district in Assam later on Monday to search for the bodies of five persons who had apparently drowned after their vehicle plunged into the Dikhow river near Dicial villlage in Dikhowmukh around 6.30 pm on Saturday.

All the occupants of the ill-fated Swift Dzire car — Haren Bora (52), Phunu (45), Punou (85), Simpi (21) and Munmi (18) — belonged to the same family and were travelling from Guwahati to their ancestral house in Mitong Nakatani village of Dikhowmukh when the incident occurred on Saturday evening.

According to sources, the Navy team has already left for Visakhapatnam and will land in Jorhat soon. The team will then leave for Sivasagar district later on Monday, stated, Bhaskar Jyoti Mahanta, additional director general, State Disaster Management Authority.

Rescue operation in progress along the Dikhow river in Sivasagar district of Assam

Despite numerous attempts in the past two days, personnel of both the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) and the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) had failed to find out the whereabouts of the car or its occupants.

The road, on which the family was traveling in the car, meets the Dikhow river’s dyke at the place where the incident took place. Villagers here say that there is a sharp turn immediately after ascent to the dyke. The government department concerned erected concrete posts as protection measures, but the gap between the two posts was too wide to stop the vehicle from slipping into the river.

“On hearing the sound of the car sinking in the river, I shouted for help. We could see the vehicle floating on water. Then one of the village youths with the help of his boat went near the car. He tried his best to rescue the people but in vain. While drowning, he could see massive chaos inside the car. One of the girls was shouting for help from inside the car. After almost 10 minutes, the car gradually went into the river water,” one of the witnesses said.

Despite numerous attempts in the past two days, SDRF and NDRF personnel have failed to find out the whereabouts of the car or its occupants

Recalling the accident, one of the youths, who jumped on a boat to rescue the family members, said that before being swept away by the heavy current of Dikhow river, the family members were making chaos inside the car. “I told them to open the window panes of the car but they failed to do so. They were desperately trying to come out of the car with their mobile lights on. Within some minutes, the car was swept away by the heavy current of the river. While returning back empty-handed, I just prayed to the Almighty to forgive me,” he added.

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