One labourer was killed and nine others, including give from West Bengal and one from Assam, were feared trapped on Friday more than 22 hours after the collapse of a portion of an under-construction tunnel on the Jammu-Srinagar national highway in Ramban district. The mishap was reported late on Thursday night.
Three seriously injured persons have so far been rescued from the debris. Teams of Army, NDRF, SDRF, Police, and locals were engaged in the rescue operations.
Deputy Commissioner, Ramban, said efforts were being made to reach the trapped labourers five of whom were from West Bengal, one from Assam, two from Nepal, and one from J&K.
A portion of the front side of the tunnel at Khooni Nullah suddenly collapsed taking the labourers unawares.
Multiple tunnels are being built for a four-lane highway to reduce travel time between Jammu and Srinagar.
The adit tunnel of T3 caved in late-night on Thursday trapping about a dozen labourers of Sarla Construction Company who were working at the site. Massive rescue operations have been launched since then. One of the rescued labourer has been sent to the medical college hospital at Jammu for treatment.
The missing labourers from West Bengal have been identified as Jadav Roy (23), Gautam Roy (22), Sudhir Roy (31), Dipak Roy (33), and Parimal Roy (38). Shiva Chowhn (26) from Assam, Nawaraj Chowdhury (26) Nepal, Kushi Ram (25) Nepal, Muzaffar (38) and Israt (30) both from J&K. Two labourers who have been hospitalised are Vishnu Gola (33) Jharkhand and Ameen (26) J&K.
The tunnel collapsed at about 10.15 pm but rescue operations could be launched at 12 midnight as shooting stones and landslides hampered rescue parties from reaching the spot.
Union Minister Dr. Jitendra Singh, under whose parliamentary constituency the area falls, was in constant touch with the concerned authorities on the issue of rescue operations. “I’m in constant touch with DC. Nearly 10 labour workers were trapped under the debris. Another 2 rescued & hospitalised with injuries. Rescue operations are on. Civil administration & Police authorities are monitoring the situation”, he tweeted.
“Rescue operations going on in full swing. Civil administration and Police authorities are monitoring the situation”, he said in another tweet.
CPI(M) leader Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami, while expressing sorrow over the mishap, has urged the administration to speed up the rescue operations and provide specialised treatment to injured labourers.