7 missing workers found in forest near China border; IAF search on for 12 others | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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7 missing workers found in forest near China border; IAF search on for 12 others

Jul 23, 2022 12:06 PM IST

The seven missing Assam workers were found in a forest in Arunachal Pradesh 17 days after they allegedly fled from a road construction site near Indo-China border

Seventeen days after they allegedly fled from a road construction site near Indo-China border, 7 of the 19 missing workers from Assam were found on Friday inside a dense forest in Kurung Kumey district of Arunachal Pradesh, officials said on Saturday.

19 workers fled from their work site near China border on July 5 after they were reportedly denied permission to visit their families in Assam for Eid-al-Adha celebrations. (Representative Image)
19 workers fled from their work site near China border on July 5 after they were reportedly denied permission to visit their families in Assam for Eid-al-Adha celebrations. (Representative Image)

The workers have been brought to a Border Roads Organisation (BRO) medical facility where they are under treatment. Their health conditions are stated to be stable. Meanwhile, Indian Air Force (IAF) started air survey on Saturday morning to locate the other 12 missing workers.

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The workers, employed by a private contractor at a BRO road construction site at Huri in Damin circle of the district, fled from their work site on July 5 after they were reportedly denied permission to visit their families in Assam for Eid-al-Adha celebrations.

“Local villagers in Damin first found four of the missing workers and later traced three others inside a deep forest nearly 20-25 km from their work site in Huri,” said Karan Kholie, district disaster management officer of Kurung Kumey over phone from Koloriang, the district headquarters.

The work site at Huri is located around 109 km away from Koloriang, which is 249 km from the state capital Itanagar. It is located around 80-90 km from the India-China border.

“As per our knowledge, while the workers were found in a weak condition, their overall health is stable. Doctors at the BRO facility are monitoring their health. Since communication network at Damin is very poor, we don’t yet know names of the workers who were located,” said Kholie.

He added the workers revealed that after fleeing the work site they divided into two groups and decided to head towards Assam by foot through forests as they didn’t want to get caught by their contractor. But they soon lost their way. There’s no information on how they survived for so many days.

Due to communication issues, district officials got to know about the missing workers only on July 13 following which search operations were launched. On July 18, there were reports that body of one missing worker was found at the Furak river. But a visit by officials to the site revealed it to be a fake news.

“Locals may have seen a log and mistaken it for a body. At present 26 personnel from SDRF (state disaster response force) are engaged in search operations and we have requested the Centre to provide additional personnel from NDRF (national disaster response force). One IAF chopper from Tezpur in Assam started operations from Saturday morning to locate the other 12 missing workers,” said Kholie.

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