Another dead body has been recovered from the debris at a tunnel collapse site in Jammu after a portion of an under-construction tunnel on the Jammu-Srinagar national highway in Ramban district collapsed late on Thursday night. The official death count has gone up to four, while six people are still missing and a rescue operation is underway.
The operation to rescue nine labourers feared trapped under the debris resumed early on Saturday after a fresh landslide on Friday evening had forced the authorities to suspend the process.
The tunnel, which is on the highway near Khooni Nallah in Jammu and Kashmir’s Ramban district, caved in at the start of audit-related work at around 10.15 pm on Thursday, after which officials had confirmed that a labourer had died and three others were rescued.
A small portion of the front side of the tunnel had collapsed, reported news agency PTI.
Nine were feared trapped under the debris.
An operation to rescue them was soon launched but had to be suspended on Friday evening due to a fresh landslide and inclement weather. Over 15 rescuers, including the Station House Officer of Ramsu police station, Nayeem-Ul-Haq, had a narrow escape during this time, according to the officials.
Multiple tunnels are being constructed on the Banihal-Ramban section of the road which is the most difficult portion of the ambitious four-laning of the highway.
Union minister Jitendra Singh had termed the accident “unfortunate”.
“I’m in constant touch with DC Mussrat Islam. Nearly 10 labour workers were trapped under the debris. Another two were rescued and hospitalised with injuries. Rescue operations going on in full swing. Civil administration and police authorities are monitoring the situation,” he said yesterday.