Aizawl: The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has registered a suo motu case over the stone quarry collapse in South Mizoram’s Hanathiyal district as the death toll in the fatal incident has risen to 11.
The NGT on Wednesday directed seven officials concerned in Mizoram, including ABCI Infrastructures Pvt Ltd, which currently owns the stone quarry on lease, to appear before the tribunal on November 28, officials said.
The death toll in the stone quarry collapse has risen to 11 as another body was recovered from the site, an official said on Thursday.
The body of a 25-year-old man from South Mizoram’s Lingli district was recovered from the debris at around 8:30 pm on Wednesday night, said Hanthial District Deputy Commissioner R Lalrimsanga.
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He said that of the 12 people who went missing in the stone quarry collapse, 11 bodies have been recovered from the spot so far.
The ages of the victims were between 18 and 49 years.
Efforts are on for a search and rescue operation for the last missing person, who belonged to Assam, the official said.
In all, 12 workers of ABCI Infrastructures Pvt Ltd and other contractors were confirmed trapped on Monday after they were trapped in a stone quarry at Modar village, about 23 km from Hanthial city.
According to the district administration, the incident took place around 2.40 pm on November 14 when the workers were working on the site.
Hanthial Superintendent of Police (SP) Vineeth Kumar had said that thirteen people were working when a massive landslide occurred in the stone quarry and only one worker managed to escape.
Five of the dead are from West Bengal, two each from Jharkhand and neighboring Assam and one each from Tripura and Mizoram, according to a report released by the Hanathial district administration.
A 49-year-old man, who was earlier reported to be a resident of Mizoram’s Lingli district, based on his Aadhaar card, was living in a burro relief camp in Tripura, said Lalram Dantalunga, sub-deputy commissioner of Hanthial district.
His body was sent to the neighboring state on Wednesday, he said. The Bro people, currently camped in relief camps in Tripura, have been allowed to settle permanently in the neighboring state in 2020 as per the quadrilateral agreement. Their resettlement work is going on in Tripura.
The bodies of other victims have also been sent to their respective states on Wednesday, the official added.
Eyewitnesses claimed that the workers had dug too deep and disturbed the stability of the stone quarry, leading to its collapse. Lalrimsanga said that five earth movers, a stone crusher and a drilling machine were also completely buried under the debris. He said that the area affected by the landslide is about 5000 square meters.
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