Rescuers recovered the another body
Till now two bodies have been recovered from under the muck and rock following the accident at downstream surge chamber of Punatsangchu hydropower project authority-II power house on 3rd of March.
Six men were buried alive when the loose soil and boulders fell from above blocking the exit. The accident happened at around 3am on March 3rd.
There were 16 Indian laborers and a project supervisor working for the night shift out of which 10 laborers escaped from a small hole despite continuous falling of soil and boulders.
They suffered bruises on their hands and body for which they were referred to their health clinics immediately. A project supervisor had also escaped, after he exited the chamber just before the incident because of stomach pain.
The body of the boomer operator was found at around 9:15pm on the same day of the accident while another was discov- ered on March 17 after two weeks of the accident.
The cause of death was suffocation said project officials since no injuries were found on their bodies.
As per the officials falling boulder and mucks hasn’t stopped completely, magnitude has reduced though.
“This was because the project has many components with different completion dates. Out of all the components, dam construction, was considered the most critical and taking the longest time.” an official with the project mentioned.
He also added that “after tunnel and powerhouse, the downstream surge chamber is the fourth critical component.”
He estimated the duration that the surge chamber might take two to three more months to complete and might need some additional cost but the cost will not be in billions.
The surge chamber expected to be around 340 meters long and dislodged portion is estimated to be 34 meters high and 18 meters wide in size.
The project’s Managing Director, R N Khazanchi said they would only be able to decide on the remedial measures required after recovering all the remaining bodies. “We have experts coming, but our priority is to recover all the bodies,” he said.
“We are doing everything possible to assess and settle the situation,” said a project official. All concerned heads were deployed at the site since 1:30am, on the date of incident.
This was the first incident at the project site ever happened since it was started in 2011.