Bodies of 7 labourers killed in U’khand airlifted to Uri

Dead bodies of labourers brought to Uri in an Army helicopter on Sunday. —Excelsior/Aabid Nabi
Dead bodies of labourers brought to Uri in an Army helicopter on Sunday. —Excelsior/Aabid Nabi

Pall of gloom descends on villages
Excelsior Correspondent
Srinagar, Dec 23: A pall of gloom descended on Uri near the Line of Control (LoC) in the frontier district of Baramulla when bodies of seven labourers killed in Uttarakhand on Friday reached their native places this afternoon.
At least 11 labourers of Uri came under a slide when they were constructing a retaining wall near Bansbada area of Uttarakhand’s Rudraprayag district. Three labourers were rescued whereas eight were buried and seven bodies recovered by the rescuers but it took them 24 hours to recover the eighth body a teenager Majid Khan.
The incident took place this afternoon in Ukhimath area near Banswada on the Rishikesh-Kedarnath National Highway Friday afternoon when 23 labourers were working on a retaining wall that collapsed burying 11 labourers.
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The bodies of seven persons reached the native villages today. They include Bilal, 20, resident of Uri, Sibbeer, 30, of Bagna Uri in Baramulla, Abdul Rashid, 60, of Uri, Imtiaz Ahmad, 26, of Handlanga Uri Baramulla, Mushtaq Ahmad, 30, of Uri Baramulla, Hamid Sheikh, 30, of Uri, and Gulzar Ahmad, 20, of Uri in Baramulla district.
The bodies were brought by road from Uttarakhand to Jammu from where they were flown to Uri in a special chopper arranged Air Force chopper by the State Government with the help of Army.
The Sub-District Magistrate (SDM) Uri, Basheer Ul Haq, said that the body of the eighth labourer, Majid Khan, will be flown to Uri as soon as it reaches Jammu and will be handed over to the family for last rites.
A large number of relatives of the labourers had gathered at the Uri town and as soon as the bodies arrived in Air Force helicopter in Uri Brigade Headquarter, they were shifted to Ambulances and taken to the native places.
The pall of gloom descended on their native villages when the bodies reached there for the last rites. Hundreds of people attended their last rites.
Governor Satya Pal Malik had announced Rs 2 lakh compensation to the families of the deceased labourers.
District Magistrate Rudraprayag ordered magisterial inquiry into the incident and Sub District Magistrate, Jakholi area had been asked to submit the probe report within 10 days.
Uttarakhand Police has registered a case and are investigating the circumstances that led to the death of labourers. Initial investigations suggested that the contractor was carrying out the work without the safety standards of the workers, resulting in such a major accident.