7 die as Kaleshwaram tunnel roof collapses

7 die as Kaleshwaram tunnel roof collapses
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Highlights

Seven labourers died and another sustained grievous injuries when the roof of an under-construction tunnel collapsed near Tippapur village under Ellanthakunta mandal in Rajanna-Sircilla district, 150 km from Hyderabad, on Wednesday.

Sircilla: Seven labourers died and another sustained grievous injuries when the roof of an under-construction tunnel collapsed near Tippapur village under Ellanthakunta mandal in Rajanna-Sircilla district, 150 km from Hyderabad, on Wednesday.

The 4-km tunnel in the hillocks that connects Anantagiri and Venkatapur villages is the part of package-10 of Kaleshwaram Lift Irrigation Project (KLIP). Two kilometres into the tunnel there was a pump house where the work was on for the last few days. At around 1.30 pm, tragedy struck the labourers when a part of the roof collapsed killing six on the spot.

It’s learnt that another person succumbed to injuries while undergoing treatment in Karimnagar. The condition of another person is said to be serious.

The incident occurred when the labourers who entered the tunnel in the morning were about to leave the place for lunch. Minutes before the incident, some of the site engineers came out of the tunnel, it’s learnt.

Within a couple of hours of the incident, the tunnel region was cordoned off by police so that no one would come close to it.

It may be noted here that works of the tunnel were almost completed along with the intake well in the same hillocks on Anantagiri village side. According to the locals, no safety measures were being taken during the excavation of tunnel. It’s said that absence of the rock bolts that stabilise the tunnel excavation has led to the accident.

It may be noted here that the Rs 80,500-crore KLIP is one of the prestigious irrigation projects taken up by the Telangana government. Superintendent of Police Vishwajeet Kampati who rushed to the spot supervised rescue operation.

Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao expressed shock over the loss of the lives during the irrigation works at Kaleswaram. The Chief Minister conveyed his condolences to the bereaved families and instructed the officials concerned to see that such incident do not reoccur.

Speaking to The Hans India, District Collector Krishna Bhaskar said: “An engineering inquiry would ascertain the reasons behind the incident. Arrangements are being made to send the bodies of the deceased to their native places.” It’s learnt that post-mortem will be conducted in Karimnagar on Thursday.

Meanwhile, Irrigation Minister T Harish Rao, in a statement, confirmed the death of seven labourers. He said that the contracting agency, said to be Prathima Constructions, has announced an ex gratia of Rs 5 lakh to the families of those died in the incident.

The minister also announced an inquiry into the incident. An explosion in the upper part of draft tube caused the collapse of a 5-tonne granite slab, according to the superintending engineer Muralidhar Rao. According to reports, the deceased were identified as Sandeep (Mulugu in Bhupalpally district), Jithender, Haricharan, Hari Ram, Puram Singh, Geethma and Hari of Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Bihar. The other labourer Bodhan is undergoing treatment in Karimnagar.

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