NEARLY 10 months after a construction worker went missing after part of an under-construction tunnel caved in near Bilaspur in Himachal, the body was spotted under the debris Wednesday.
The body, of Hriday Ram (52), cannot, however, be taken out immediately, as the construction company has to first strengthen the portion of the tunnel and thereafter move slowly to retrieve the remains so that the body is not damaged, Bilaspur Deputy Commissioner Manasi Sahay Thakur said.
Hriday Ram, along with two other workers, got trapped when a chunk of the under-construction Swarghat-Nerchowk-Manali four-lane road project of the National Highway Authority of India caved in on September 12 last year. The two others, Maniram and Satish Tomar, were rescued after nine days, but Hriday Ram was not found.
- Tunnel collapse: Worker’s body retrieved
- Bilaspur Tunnel Collapse: 10 months on, worker’s body spotted under tunnel debris
- Ten months after Bilaspur tunnel collapse, a worker’s family waits for his remains
- Bilaspur tunnel collapse: Probe panel gives clean chit to builder
- Himachal tunnel tragedy: Technical review of all tunnels will be done to avert repeat of such incident
- Three workers trapped after under construction tunnel caves in Himachal Pradesh
The Himalayan Construction Company, a subsidiary of IL&FS Engineering and Infrastructure, which is executing the project, had started removing the debris a few days ago to resume on work on the 2.5-km tunnel where the mishap had occurred.
“It’s a relief that the body has been spotted,” Praveen Kumar, the victim’s son, said. “We knew that he was not alive (but) we want to perform his last rites.”
Manoj Patial, a senior tunnel engineer with the company, said steel ribs will first be put on the tunnel’s upper surface to strengthen it before work begins on ground to retrieve the remains.
Thakur said the body will be handed over after DNA sampling.