Lethindra Sangma, the district’s additional superintendent of police, said a rescue team evacuated five people from gorge on Wednesday morning. They are in a critical condition.
“The bus had about 35 people, and the gorge is so deep that the chances of their survival are slim,” he told HT from district headquarters Khliehriat, 60km from Sonapur Mandir from where the bus had rolled down around 9:45pm.
The spot, landslide and accident-prone, is near Meghalaya’s border with southern Assam’s Barak Valley.
District officials said it was difficult to get updates from the rescue team because of poor network affecting mobile phone connectivity. The depth of the gorge and rain has increased the difficulty level, they said.
“We have not been able to ascertain the cause of the accident. Our men are using ropes to climb down and try to bring survivors and the bodies up,” district superintendent of police Spill Thamar said.
He added that village defence party members from a nearby area were helping the police.
On January 26 this year, 11 passengers were killed when a night bus skidded off the road and fell into a deep gorge at Tongseng village near Tuesday’s accident spot.