10 of 12 bodies recovered from Mizoram stone quarry collapse

by IANS |

Aizawl, Nov 16 (IANS) A total of 10 bodies have been recovered as of Wednesday after a large portion of a stone quarry in Mizoram collapsed and fell on 12 workers, officials said.

The number increased after two more bodies were found on Tuesday night.

Hnahthial district's Additional Superintendent of Police Vijoy Gurung said search operations were underway to retrieve two more bodies.

"The search operation team members are confident that they would be able to recover two more bodies by late today (Wednesday). Continuation of the search and rescue operation is very difficult after the evening. Big stone boulders and other challenges are causing difficulties to the rescuers," Gurung told IANS over the phone.

A total of 12 workers, mostly from outside Mizoram, have been confirmed dead in the accident that occurred on Monday afternoon.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is in Bali for the G20 Summit, on Tuesday condoled the deaths.

In a tweet, Mizoram Chief Minister Zoramthanga said: "Search and rescue operations at quarry landslide, Maudarh village are being carried out tirelessly. My heart goes out to the victims of this unfortunate incident. Our gratitude to the PM Narendra Modi who conveyed his condolences via telephone."

According to a report of the Deputy Commissioner of the Hnahthial district, of the 12 workers, five hailed from West Bengal while three were from Assam and two each from Jharkhand and Mizoram.

According to some locals of the Maudarh village, at least five excavators and other drilling machines have been buried under the debris.

The stone quarry, located about 160 km from state capital Aizawl, has been operational for two-and-a-half years.

The State Disaster Response Force, Mizoram Armed police personnel, Border Security Force and Assam Rifles troopers, as well as volunteers of the Young Mizo Association are participating in the rescue operation.

A private company which is constructing a highway between Hnahthial and Dawn village collects stones from the quarry.

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