At least 26 passengers were killed and more than five are missing when a bus carrying a marriage party fell into a rivulet at around midnight in the Kamrup (Rural) district of Assam, police said.
The bus, carrying around 40 passengers from Guwahati to Tihu in Rangia sub-divison of the district, plunged into the rivulet when a "wooden" bridge, which it was crossing over, gave in, police and rescuers said.
The incident happened at Rajabari on Hajo-Guwahati road .
Among the killed were the bridegroom Naba Kumar Sarma, his parents and friends. Two children were also among the victims, police said.
So far, six passengers have been rescued and were admitted to a hospital in the neighbouring Nalbari district.
The bus has been taken out and police personnel, with the help of Army and locals, were searching for the missing passengers.
The locals were upset with the late arrival of the National Disaster Rescue Force. The Force, which arrived at the spot at 6 AM, was sent back by the locals.
Sources of the rescue force said they could not start rescue operations at night due to the non-availability of night vision equipment.
Rubbishing the claims, the locals said they had rushed to the spot with lanterns and fished out 26 bodies from the pond and managed to save the lives of six passengers.
The locals were also vocal 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.