Bilaspur tunnel collapse: Body of missing worker traced after 10 months

Shimla, July 6 (IANS) Ten months after the disaster, mortal remains of the lone missing construction worker who got trapped in an under-construction tunnel in Himachal Pradesh was recovered on Wednesday, an official said.

Two other workers were rescued after nine days of the collapse of the tunnel near Bilaspur town on September 21 last year.

“Mortal remains believed to be of the lone missing worker Hriday Ram has been traced, but it will take time to retrieve as it was stuck under the debris,” Deputy Commissioner Manasi Sahay told IANS.

She said the body is likely to be recovered on Thursday.

“His family has been informed. The body seems to be badly damaged and the identification could be done through DNA,” she added.

Three employees were trapped inside the tunnel of Kiratpur-Nerchowk four-lane project when a portion of it collapsed on September 12, 2015.

The tunnel is located at Kandrour, between Bilaspur and Ghumarwin towns around 100 km from the state capital.

Official sources said Hriday Ram’s wife, two daughters and son were present at the tunnel when the body was located.

Officials said this was the first-of-its-kind operation that the National Disaster Response Force undertook.

“We are hoping to recover the body so that we can cremate him as per rituals,” Hriday Ram’s 19-year old daughter Shalu told reporters.

Last month the state government gave a clean chit to the Himalayan Construction Company, saying it was difficult to point out the exact cause of the collapse.

The probe largely blamed geological and topographical factors for its collapse.

–IANS

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