Six Dead, 14 Injured In Satluj Valley Rockslide In Himachal

Shimla: Six persons working on a construction site of a hydroelectric project in Kinnaur district died, 14 others were injured and some were reported to be missing after rolling boulders on Sunday morning hit riverside makeshift tin shelters where about 45 persons were said to be residing.

Speaking from the accident site district police superintendent of Kinnaur, Yashbir Singh Pathania over phone said that six persons had died in the accident which occurred after a early morning rock fall on a labour settlement besides River Satluj at Kachsthal (about 50 Km form district headquarter Reckong Peo).

Search for one missing person was going on said the police official, while others claimed that more were missing and could have been washed away by the river current.

On learning about the accident, a police rescue team was rushed in from Bhawanagar who oversaw that the injured were taken to hospital. They also recovered the six dead bodies.

Pathainia said that of the 14 injured in the accident that happened at 7.30 in the morning, 3 were serious,” he added. The injured were admitted into a private hospital at Tapri.

Sub-divisional magistrate Sanjay Sharma visited the accident site later in the day and had the entire settlement shifted to safer grounds. Immediate ex-gratia relief was provided to the injured and the kin of the dead.

The mishap site is in the vicinity of a 1000 MW hydroelectric Karcham Wangtoo project construction site. The workers are said to be part of a labour force deployed by a contractor working on the mega project of the Jaypee Group.

While the district administration attributes the cause for rockslide due to loosening of soil because of melting of snow in the region, the Communist Party of India (Marxists) have come out holding the blasting activity at the power house construction site as the reason for the accident.

Tikender Panwar, member state secretariat (CPI(M) said that since the tunnel and the power house work of the project is on the right bank, colonies of workmen should be shifted to the left bank of the river so that no more casualties take place. Working conditions and stronger shelters needed to be provided to the workers, he said.

Panwar has given out the names of those killed in the accident as Dil Bahadur, Zor Sunar, Sher Bahadur and Bale Tamang. The worker who jumped into the river because of fear and is not traceable is Changur Chaudhary, he said.

The government was yet to disclose the names and identities of those dead or missing.

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