Thu, 07 Jul 2022

New Delhi [India], May 20 (ANI): The Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) on Friday began the search and rescue operations near Khooni Nala at the Ramban Tunnel collapse site in Jammu and Kashmir where nine labourers are believed to have been trapped in the debris.

The sudden landslide happened on Thursday night.

Personnel of the 15th Battalion ITBP along with a sniffer dog of the force have joined the rescue operations, says an ITBP statement.

The tunnel was a newly started project and only three to four meters of digging was done when the landslide took place last night at around 10.15 pm.

The labourers working on the site got trapped and many trucks, excavators and other vehicles were completely damaged in the landslide.

This was reportedly an Adit tunnel to some tunnel T4 to be used as the escape tunnel, said the statement, adding "out of nine trapped labourers, five are from West Bengal, one each from Nepal and Assam and two are locals".

"Three persons were injured in the landslide and were taken out earlier," said the ITBP.

The force said one dead body was retrieved from the debris on Friday and that the deceased belonged to West Bengal.

"Earthmovers are being used to clear heavy boulders at the site which is fully covered with tonnes of debris in an area which is approximately 50 by 50 meters."At around 4.40 pm on Friday, the ITBP said, a fresh landslide and rains at the spot halted the rescue efforts.

"The rescue operations have been halted many times due to shooting stones and falling boulders forcing the rescue workers and machines to stop," added the ITBP.

Khooni Nala near which the digging of a tunnel was happening near Mekarkot, Ramban, which is known for the alarming number of people who died in road mishaps and accidents in the past, said the ITBP, adding "it is sometimes called the 'Killer Rivulet'." (ANI)

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