Toll climbs to 11 with recovery of one more body
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has registered a suo-moto case in the stone quarry collapse in south Mizoram’s Hnahthial district and directed authorities concerned to appear before it on November 28.
Seven officials, including the member secretary of Mizoram pollution control board and the director of the state’s disaster management directorate, have been asked to appear at the tribunal’s Faridkot House office in Delhi, according to the notice issued by the NGT on Wednesday.
District Superintendent of Police (SP) Vineet Kumar said that suo-moto case into the incident has also been filed at Hnahthial police station.
Meanwhile, the toll in the stone quarry collapse in south Mizoram’s Hnahthial district climbed to 11 after one more body was recovered from the site, an official said on Thursday.
Hnahthial deputy commissioner (DC) R Lalremsanga said that the body of a 25-year-old man, a resident of Lunglei district, was found under the debris during the ongoing search operation on Wednesday evening.
Twelve people were confirmed to have been trapped after the stone quarry caved in at Maudarh village, about 23 km from Hnahthial town, on Monday. Of the 12 missing persons, 11 have been traced, Lalremsanga said.
Five of the deceased are from West Bengal, two each from Jharkhand and neighbouring Assam, and one each from Tripura and Mizoram, according to a report issued by the Hnahthial district administration.
Bodies of the victims have been sent to their home states, the DC said.
Efforts are underway to trace the last missing person, who is also from Assam, he added. Sub deputy commissioner Lalramdintluanga clarified that a 49-year-old victim, who was earlier reported as a resident of Mizoram’s Lunglei district based on his Aadhar card, was from a Bru relief camp in Tripura.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had on Wednesday announced an ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh for the next of kin of each of those who lost their lives.
Officials of the Union Ministry of Labour and Employment, and Mizoram geology and mining department had visited the site on Wednesday to take stock of the situation.
The district SP had earlier said that 13 people were working at the quarry, owned by ABCI Infrastructures Pvt Ltd, when a massive earth slide at the site led to its collapse around 2.40 pm on November 14.
Only one labourer managed to escape unhurt, he had said.
Eyewitnesses claimed that workers had dug too deep and that upset the stability of the stone quarry, resulting in the collapse.
Five earth excavators, a stone crusher and a drilling machine also got completely buried under the debris, said Lalremsanga.
He underlined that the area impacted by the landslide spans approximately 5,000 square metres.