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Assam: 15 die while pilfering oil from train

K Anurag in Guwahati | September 20, 2008 13:00 IST

Fifteen persons are feared killed and 30 seriously ill after inhaling 'toxic gas' after a group of miscreants tried to tamper with the loop of a railway wagon containing petroleum products at Siding along the Assam-Nagaland border between Dhansiri in Karbi Anglong hill district of Assam and Dimapur in Nagaland.

Police sources informed that those who were killed included two cadres of the Naga rebel group, the NSCN-IM. The death toll is likely to increase.

The incident occurred when a 48-wagon goods train carrying petroleum products from Numaligarh Refinery Limited in Golaghat district of Assam to Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh [Images] were forcibly brought to a halt by miscreants at Siding, a densely-forested area with an intention to siphon out petroleum fuels from those wagons. However, at  least 15 miscreants died and over 30 seriously fell ill, most of them were Naga villagers, when their attempt to break open a wagon loop led to 'toxic emission'.

Police recovered eight bodies and about 500 empty gallons from the spot.

An NRL source informed that people might have died of suffocation as volume oxygen in the atmosphere drastically came down when there is spill of huge volume of petroleum fuels. Further investigation was on.

According to railway sources, pilferage of fuels by miscreants from railway wagons frequently takes place in the area and the civil and police administration had been informed of it earlier. 

Miscreants from Nagaland intercept trains carrying petroleum and other lubricants in the area inside Assam by crossing Dhansiri river and go back with the lot to Nagaland.

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