5 bodies recovered soon as tunnel collapses in J&K's Ramban


Five bodies have been recovered so far from the debris of an under-construction tunnel that collapsed in Jammu and Kashmir's Ramban on Thursday. At least 10 labourers were trapped after a section of a tunnel on the Jammu-Srinagar national highway caved-in, triggering large-scale rescue ops by teams of police, the Army and state and national disaster response forces. "A total of five bodies have been recovered so far. We're waiting for the operation to continue so we can locate the remaining five. Three dead bodies have been identified, all were from Bengal. We're in touch with Bengal administration," Ramban district official Mussarat Islam said.

Earlier today a senior district police officer said a body had been spotted under a boulder and heavy machines were deployed to retrieve the corpse." One more body was seen… machines have been (used) to remove the boulder… we are nearing the end of this rescue op," Mohita Sharma, Senior Superintendent of Police (Ramban), said. adding that those could be rescued would be saved and all bodies would be recovered. The first body - a labourer from Bengal - was found on Friday.

The audit tunnel of T3 on the highway near Khooni Nallah in Ramban district caved in at the start of work at 10.15 pm on Thursday.

Rescue work began immediately but was briefly suspended yesterday because of 'shooting stones - large and small rocks and debris that come hurtling down a hillside due to landslides or other inclement weather conditions.

The debris was the result of a nearby landslide - part of a mountain in the Makerkote area collapsed and forced a temporary break in rescue operations.

The collapse was captured on camera in a video. Islam said that incident was unexpected and that up to 17 hours of rescue work had been affected. Two heavy machines were also trapped.

Of the trapped labourers four - Jadav Roy (23), Gautam Roy (22), Sudhir Roy (31), Dipak Roy (33) and Parimal Roy (38) - are from Bengal, two - Muzaffar (38) and Israt (30) - are from J&K and one – Shiva Chouhan (26) is from Assam. Nawaraj Chowdhury (26) and Kushi Ram (25) - are from Nepal

J&K lieutenant governor Manoj Sinha is overseeing operations from a control room.

(Except for the headline and the pictorial description, this story has not been edited by THE DEN staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)