At least 22 people were killed and 25 injured when a bridge caved in as an overloaded truck was negotiating it close to the Myanmar border in Manipur, authorities said on Friday.
The incident took place on Thursday in remote Behiang village in Churachandpur district of Manipur, around 180 km south of state capital Imphal.
"Troops of the 57 Mountain Division, which has a post near the accident site, reached the spot soon after receiving the news and fished out 19 bodies from the river besides rescuing 28 others," army spokesman Col Rajesh Mishra told IANS.
The injured were rushed to the district hospital at Churachandpur. While one of the injured succumbed to injuries on way to hospital, two others died there later. The condition of three injured was stated to be critical.
"The wooden bridge was very weak and the truck was overloaded. In the absence of bus services, locals use truck to commute in the region," Mishra said.
"In fact, there is hardly any state presence in the area barring the army," a college teacher in Imphal who hails from Churachandpur district said.
The army spokesman said casualties would have been higher had the soldiers not reached the accident site in time.
"Some of the people were drowned while several got crushed under the debris as the truck hurtled down when the bridge collapsed," the spokesman said.