SRINAGAR: The rescuers were able to recover the mortal remains of one person as inclement weather stopped the search operations in the tunnel collapse accident on the Jammu-Srinagar highway in Jammu and Kashmir’s Ramban district on Thursday.
Officials said that at around 10.15 pm on May 19, the Ajit tunnel of T3 caved in near Khooni Nallah Ramban, trapping more than a dozen labourers working at the site.
Station House Officer Ramsoo Nahiem Matoo said, “The body of one labourer whose identity could not be known immediately has been recovered.”
The missing persons have been identified as Jadav Roy (23 years), Gautam Roy (22), Sudhir Roy(31), Dipak Roy (33) and Parimal Roy (38), all from West Bengal; Shiva Chowhan (26) from Assam; Nawaraj Chowdhury (26) and Kushi Ram (25), both from Nepal; Muzaffar (38) and Israt (30), both locals, Matoo added.
Two of the injured workers have been identified as Vishnu Gola (33) from Jharkhand and Ameen (26) from J&K. A joint rescue operation was launched by the police and Army soon after the incident was reported.
Officials said that there was little chance of survival of trapped labourers as removing debris up to their location will take hours.
Divisional Commissioner Jammu, Ramesh Kumar, and Additional Director General of Police (ADGP) Jammu Zone Mukesh Singh visited the site of the incident.
“The operation has been stopped because of more landslides in the area,” officials said, adding that heavy rains are lashing the area.
The length of the tunnel, officials said, is around three meters only, and whether they are inside it or outside the tunnel area is not specifically known.
Officials said that debris is all-around and there are chances of suffocation also. “It is a delicate operation as far as vulnerability is concerned. Shooting stones are continuously happening, and even heavy machinery cannot be employed given the fact that shooting stones fall continuously,” the official said.