Guwahati, Oct 3 (IANS) In one of the worst road accidents in Assam this year, 31 people were killed and 16 others injured Thursday as a speeding truck hit a small passenger vehicle and dragged it backwards, hitting another small vehicle, in Barpeta district.
Both passenger vehicles turned turtle under the impact of the collision, leading to the death of 28 people on the spot. Police said three others died later in hospital.
Among the deceased were 12 children, eight women and the drivers of the two passenger vehicles, police said.
The accident occurred at Dahlapara in Barpeta, around 150 km from state capital Guwahati, at about 4.30 a.m. Thursday.
"The 16 injured people are under treatment at hospitals in Guwahati, Barpeta and Bongaigaon. The condition of five is critical," police said.
Police said many of the victims were workers at brick kilns and hailed from Dhubri district. They were on their way to Rangia, 60 km west of Guwahati.
Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi ordered an inquiry into the accident and announced ex-gratia payment of Rs.1 lakh to the kin of each of the victims.
Gogoi also visited some of the injured at the Barpeta Medical College and Hospital.
The chief minister directed authorities to strictly enforce speed limits, prevent rash driving and overloading of passengers and goods on vehicles. He also sought that proper and periodic verification of driving licences be made to prevent such accidents in future.