Res­cuers re­cov­ered the an­other body

Bhutan Times - - Home - Deki Lhadon

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.

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