One person has died after an under-construction tunnel in Jammu and Kashmir’s Ramban district caved in Thursday night. Nine others are still trapped. The dead man was from West Bengal, deputy commissioner Mussarat Islam said, adding that of those still trapped, four more were from that state. Two of the trapped men are from Nepal, one is from Assam and the other two are locals, Islam said.
The cave-in occurred at Khoni Nallah on the Jammu and Srinagar national highway. A part of the tunnel collapsed during an audit, injuring four persons and trapping several others. In the early hours of Friday, at least three persons were rescued while 10 were still believed to be trapped.
The collapsed portion is nearly 30 to 40 metres inside the tunnel.
A joint rescue team by police and the Army was deployed around midnight but ‘shooting stones’ – pieces of rock and debris that roll down a mountainside at speed – have hindered rescue operations.
Earlier today, Mukesh Singh, additional director general of police (Jammu Zone), and Jammu divisional commissioner Ramesh Kumar visited the site of the accident.
Speaking to media after taking stock of the rescue operation, Kumar said that personnel from the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) had also been deployed and heavy machines were being used to break rocks so space can be created to reach the trapped labourers.
MP Wazir, in-charge of the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF), told news agency ANI that more and more debris was being dug up as rescue workers clear rubble from the area. “We will be rescuing the trapped labourers through triage,” he said.
Meanwhile. A day after an under-construction tunnel in Jammu and Kashmir’s Ramban district collapsed, part of a hillside fell in the Makerkote area on the Jammu–Srinagar national highway – near the site of the rescue operation. The collapse was captured on camera in a video posted by news agency ANI.
J&K lieutenant governor Manoj Sinha took stock of the rescue operation and overall situation at the collapse site via a video call with Islam.