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Two labourers? two-hour ordeal

india Updated: Dec 10, 2006 16:39 IST

TWO LABOURERS were trapped for over two hours inside a 15-feet deep trench in Nandanagar area on Saturday afternoon when a section of the trench caved in and loose earth piled on the side fell on them. Both had to be hospitalised after the incident, but are out of danger.

The trench has been dug to pay pipeline in the area, and the work in that particular area had been going on for the past month. The two labourers, Mahesh and Amitchand, both from village Sulikheri near Nalcha (Dhar), were extricated from the trench with great difficulty.

A JCB machine used to dig the trench was pressed into service to remove a portion of the earth and then fellow-workers pitched in and slowly dug them out. The loose earth had come up to their chest and they could hardly move an inch.

One labourer who joined the rescue operation, Rama from Nalcha, said that Mahesh sustained head injury when some rocks fell on him along with the loose earth. He was the first to be brought up, and was immediately rushed to MY Hospital. Later, Amitchand was brought out, but by then he had become unconscious due to exhaustion and trauma. In between, both of them were given water to sustain their strength.

More than anything else, it was the crowd of curious onlookers who posed a major problem for the rescue operations. There was a real danger that in their eagerness to see the rescue operation perched precariously atop mounds of loose earth they could have triggered another cave-in.

Soon after news of the cave-in spread, BJP corporator Chandu Shinde rushed to the site, as did Congress corporator of the area Ramesh Gagre. Shinde brushed off the incident by saying that in such ‘small incidents’ often occur when such huge task of laying pipeline in the entire area was being done. Ramesh Gagre blamed the JCB machines being used for the digging for the tragedy. He said that earth dug out had not been packed properly, which resulted in the cave-in.

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