11 workers presumed dead in Sikkim tunnel flooding

April 17th, 2009 - 7:03 pm ICT by IANS  

Gangtok, April 17 (IANS) At least 11 labourers are missing, and presumed dead, after a tunnel they were working in was flooded by waters from the Rangpo river in Sikkim, police said Friday.
Superintendent of Police (East) M.S. Tuli said more than 20 labourers in the 1,100- meter tunnel at a power project at the Rangpo Dam in east Sikkim were rescued but 11 are still unaccounted for.

“There is no chance that the labourers could have survived but we are looking for the bodies. The work is proving difficult because of the tremendous amount of water inside the tunnel. At present, we are pumping out the water which is also a tedious process,” Tuli said.

The incident took place 10.30 p.m. Thursday, he said.

“The cause of the sudden flow of water into the tunnels has to be verified and weather conditions could possibly have played some role. But as of now, we have registered a case of criminal negligence against the developers,” he said.

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