Fifteen people were killed in a mishap at a laterite stone quarry in Sukinda Valley of Orissa’s Jajpur district on Friday.
The deceased, all labourers and mostly tribals, were drilling when a huge pile of stones and mining debri came crashing down on them at around noon. They were all buried under the debris.
While sources put the toll at 15, Jajpur district Superintendent of Police DS Kuttey told the Hindustan Times: “Ten bodies have been recovered so far.”
Nearly 30 people were reportedly working in the illegal quarry, located on forestland about 120 kilometers from Bhubaneswar. Quarrying on forestland is not allowed under law.
The two contractors who operated this quarry have gone missing, officials said.
Rescue operations continued into the night. Police said the situation was tense but under control. Ten platoons of state armed police have been deployed.
Illegal quarries have mushroomed in Sukinda in the past several years now. Apart from laterite stone quarries, a number of mountains located near the roads are also being plundered.