Kaski tunnel trap: Two missing workers found dead

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    POKHARA, APR 27 –

    upper_Madi_slideTwo workers, who had gone missing in Friday’s incident when a tunnel of the under-construction Upper Madi khola Hydropower Project had caved in, have been found dead.

    Bodies of Arjun Tamag of Udayapur and Nayan Bahadur Tamang were found buried underneath the landslip debris. According to Project supervisor Ganga Dutta Sapkota, bodies of the missing workers were found around 2.30 pm this afternoon.

    Preparations are underway to ferry the bodies to Pokhara. The rescuers had yesterday pulled out the body of Sujan Gurung from the site in the evening.

    Thirteen of the workers trapped inside the tunnel of the hydropower project were rescued on Saturday morning, 14 hours after the incident.

    They were working at the Upper Madi Hydroelectric Project in Sildujure, Kaski, when the tunnel ’s ceiling caved in as falling rocks damaged the tunnel ribs and blocked its entrance on Friday afternoon.

    The 13 workers survived as air and water were pumped into the tunnel through pipes already installed there as an alternative arrangement after the purpose-built equipment had failed to work.

    Superintendent of Police Basanta Lama said that 12 Nepali workers and a Chinese national, You Zhan Ming, were rescued at around 3:30am on Saturday. He informed that the rescue team of Nepal Army, Nepal Police, Armed Police Force, project employees and locals drilled a hole into the tunnel and pulled out the workers. The incident site lies about 17km north of Pokhara .

    The rescued workers were then taken to Western Regional Hospital in Pokhara for health check-up. But they were soon discharged as they were found to be in good condition.

    “I thought I would die inside the tunnel . We stayed there remembering family and friends. There was a glimmer of hope as we could communicate with the people outside,” Manoj Pulami, 23, told the Post after his rescue.

    According to project supervisor Ganga Dutta Sapkota, the rescuers pulled out the body of Sujan Gurung from the site in the evening. Gurung, a resident of Dulegauda in Tanahun district, was the operator of the excavator buried in the landslide.

    The Rs 5.28 billion 25MW project was being constructed jointly by China International Water and Electric Corporation.

    Source : eKantipur