Falling boulders kill one

A 27-year-old driver died on the way to Guhawati hospital in Assam, India yesterday morning. He was injured when falling boulders struck the tipper truck he was driving at Melong Brak in Samdrupjongkhar on April 7 night.

The incident occurred around 8:30pm when the deceased was ferrying gypsum from Pemagatshel to Samdrupjongkhar.

His friends, after reporting the accident to Pemagatshel police evacuated him to Dewathang hospital. He suffered severe head injuries and excessive bleeding. He was referred to Guwahati hospital yesterday morning.

Samdrupjongkhar police handed over the body to his cousin and the truck owner yesterday.

Sources suspect the boulders that struck him rolled from loosened soil and rocks along the highway because of blasting and widening works.

Police said commuters should avoid travelling along the Melong Brak stretch at night, as it remains foggy.

Meanwhile, a truck driver, Tashi, 37, said that although the highway remains foggy and risky, they have to travel at night as they have to meet the requirement of ferrying 15 truckloads a month.

He also ferries gypsum from Pemagatshel to Samdrupjongkhar.

“Avoiding travels at night would affect us, as we waste time at the frequent roadblocks at Narphung,” Tashi said.

Truck drivers explained they incur a loss of about Nu 25,000 to 30,000 even if they ferry 14 truckloads a month because of not meeting the criteria, adding that they have to rush because they have to wait for about one to two days for the load.

Kelzang Wangchuk | Samdrupjongkhar

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