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5 die in landslide
Kulwinder Sandhu
Tribune News Service

Khab (Kinnaur), July 4
Four migrant labourers and an Army driver were buried alive in a landslide which triggered due to blasting by the General Reserve Engineering Force (GREF) of the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) to widen the National Highway-22 near Khab today.

Four labourers were rescued by the GREF while six had a narrow escape. These labourers were working on a contract basis with the GREF in the road construction work for the past many months.

The killed labourers were from Jharkhand while the GREF driver belonged to Kangra district.

All bodies have been recovered from the debris and a post-mortem examination conducted .

The bodies were later handed over to the GREF for cremation. The body of the Army driver, Vinod Kumar Mehta, is being sent to his native village.

The killed labourers have been identified as Michael Guriya, Inderjit Raut, Joseph Kandulana and Michael Surin. They all belonged to Dumka district of Jharkhand.

Manish Kumar, Dev Raj Jogi, Kamal Guriya and Piyut Guriya taken out of the debris and taken to Army hospital at Pooh.

The Additional District Magistrate (ADM) of Pooh sub-division, Capt Raman Sharma, who reached the spot announced a relief of Rs. 50,000 each for the kin of those killed and Rs 1000 each to the injured.

He also paid Rs 10,000 each in cash as immediate relief to kin of the deceased through the GREF.

Col M.L. Kom, Officer Commanding of the GREF, told The Tribune that a blasting exercise was conducted on the NH-22 here last evening and debris was being cleared from the road today when the landslide occurred.

He said the bodies in mutilated condition were recovered from the debris within two hours and handed over to the civil/ medical authorities for post- mortem examination.

The District Magistrate of Kinnaur, Dr. Amandeep Garg, and Superintendent of Police Arvind Sharda also visited the spot later in the evening. The police has initiated inquest proceedings under Section 174 of the CrPC into the incident, said the SP.

Meanwhile, NH-22 has been closed for two days beyond Khab as landslides had blocked the road network. Colonel Kom said it would take at least two days to clear the debris from the road.

As many as 50 foreign tourists are stranded on the road. Efforts are on to send them to their destination through transit-shipment, when the report was filed. 

 



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