Two Jharkhand labourers die as railway tunnel collapses in Bengal’s Kalimpong
Two migrant labourers from Jharkhand died and five others were injured when part of a tunnel being built for the Sevoke-Rangpo railway track caved in on Thursday night in Kalimpong district.
Officials of Indian Railway Construction Company (IRCON), which is laying the 44.98 km railway track between West Bengal and Sikkim, said incessant rainfall over the last five days triggered mudslide. The larger part of the railway track is being built in Bengal. The section in Sikkim will be only 3.44 km long. The project will add Sikkim to the nation’s railway map.
The deceased have been identified as Saiku Murmu and Naresh Soren. They were declared dead on arrival at the Kalimpong district hospital.
The accident occurred at Bhalu Khola in the Malli police station area of Kalimpong district. The 5.5 km long tunnel No 10, a part of which collapsed, is being built between Bhalu Khola and Tar Khola. It is the longest of the 14 proposed tunnels in the hilly region.
The foundation stone of the railway track, connecting Sevoke in Darjeeling district of Bengal to Rangpo in Sikkim, was laid by Mamata Banerjee in 2009 when she was the Union railway minister.
R Vimala, district magistrate of Kalimpong, said “The injured people have been admitted in hospital. Their condition is stable.”
Tshering Thendup Bhutia, general manager of IRCON said, “The mudslide in the tunnel was triggered by incessant rainfall.”