7 labourers of Uri killed, 3 injured; one missing in U’Khand

An earth-moving machine at the site of a landslide, which left at least seven labourers dead in Uttarakhand’s Rudraprayag district on Friday.
An earth-moving machine at the site of a landslide, which left at least seven labourers dead in Uttarakhand’s Rudraprayag district on Friday.

Magisterial inquiry ordered

Fayaz Bukhari
SRINAGAR, Dec 21: In one of the tragic accidents, at least seven labourers of border town of Uri in North Kashmir’s Baramulla district were killed and three others injured while another is missing in a landslide near the construction site of Char Dham all-weather road in Uttarakhand.
The incident took place this afternoon in Ukhimath area near Banswada on the Rishikesh-Kedarnath National Highway this afternoon when 23 labourers were working on a retaining wall that collapsed burying 11 labourers.
Seven bodies of labourers were recovered from the debris of the wall, three were pulled alive in injured condition and one is missing.
The dead labourers have been identified as Bilal Ahmad, 20, Sibbeer, 30, Abdul Rashid, 60, of Uri, Imtiaz Ahmad, 26, Mushtaq Ahmad, 30, Zahoor Hamid Sheikh, 30 and Gulzar, 20, all residents of Uri.
Altaf Hajam, 55, son of Ghulam Kadar Hassan, of Handlanga, Uri; Abbas, 20, son Subhan Sheikh of Handlanga, Uri and Altaf Hussain, 45, resident of Mothal, Uri were pulled out of debris and were taken to Agasthyamuni hospital. The JCB driver was discharged from the hospital and other two whose condition is critical have been airlifted to AIIMS Rishikesh for further treatment.
One of the labourers, Majid Khan, is missing and Police and SDRF are looking for him.
According to the Police in Uttarakhand, the incident happened at 12.30 pm and rescue work was started immediately by the staff of the Deputy Chief Inspector, Hoshiar Singh Pankholi, along with the officers appointed along with the routine checking at Kasba Bhuri.
“In the first place, the workers were taken away from the scene by the help of locals, and the injured were taken away from the scene. In the meantime, police force reached the spot from Agasthyamuni, Guptakashi. The police, fire service and SDRF teams also reached the spot to carry out the rescue operation”, Police said.
Superintendent of Police Rudraprayag Ajai Singh and District Magistrate Rudraprayag also reached the spot to supervise the operation.
Police said that in the incident, the major negligence of the executive body has come up. “They were carrying out work without the safety standards of the workers, resulting in such a major accident. We are investigating the incident”, police said.
The District Magistrate has also ordered magisterial inquiry into the incident. Jakholi SDM has been asked to submit the probe report within 10 days.
Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat condoled the loss of lives in the landslide.
State Congress president Pritam Singh demanded a high-level inquiry into the incident and compensation for the victims’ families. He alleged that the Central Government has gone on a construction spree in the name of all-weather road, disturbing natural ecosystems which, in turn, has made the area more prone to landslides.
SSP Baramulla, Imtiaz Hussain said that they are in touch with Uttarakhand Police. He said that the families have been informed and all necessary arrangements are being made to bring the bodies.