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30 year-old dies, 18 year-old suffers injuries after mud mound caves and buries them

The labourer who died of asphyxiation was identified as Chandan Kumar from Parasi village in Ajangada district in Uttar Pradesh. The injured labourer was identified as Rajkumar from Bihar.
Last Updated : 03 July 2024, 16:32 IST

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Mangaluru: A 30 year-old labourer died and another 18 year-old labourer suffered minor injuries after being buried by mounds of mud that caved in on them at a construction site in Balmatta on Wednesday.

The labourer who died of asphyxiation was identified as Chandan Kumar from Parasi village in Ajangada district in Uttar Pradesh. The injured labourer was identified as Rajkumar from Bihar.

He was freed from mounds of soil in nick of time by fire personnel, members of state disaster response force (SDRF) and National disaster response force (NDRF). Rajkumar, who suffered minor injuries, was shifted to Father Muller Hospital.

Eyewitnesses told police that both Chandan Kumar and Rajkumar were working on waterproofing the base of retaining wall at the construction site of Rohan suites commercial and fully furnished studio building in Balmatta. At around 12:30 pm, a huge mound of soil slided leaving labourers buried under soil upto a height of 20 feet.

Rescue workers succeeded in extricating Rajkumar from the mounds of soil within 2.5 hours after the incident. Dakshina Kannada Deputy Commissioner Mullai Muhilan M P told mediapersons that they had drilled a hole through the concrete retaining wall and had removed the top soil in order to rescue Chandan.

But beams buried in soil had made it difficult to extricate Chandan from the rubble, DC said.

Mangaluru City Corporation Mayor Sudheer Shetty Kannur said Rajkumar was saved as he had held a flat object to shield himself from the falling mounds of soil. At around 7:30 pm, after seven hours after the incident, rescue workers succeeded in extricating the body of Chandan.

Bhulan Singh, a relative, said Chandan is survived by his wife, two children and younger sister.

Plenty of risks in water-proofing job

30 year-old Chandan Kumar had returned to work just 20 days ago, says Chandan's relative Pappu Bhaita.

"After the death of his father, the entire responsibility of running the house had fell on the shoulders of Chandan Kumar. In April he had returned to his village in order to arrange the wedding of his sister," informs Pappu Bhaita as his eyes turn bleary. As rescue teams braving the rains toiled to rescue Chanda Kumar, hopes had remained high that teams would save Chandan Kumar like they had done with Rajkumar. 

However with every passing hour, the hopes dimmed. Pappu Bhaita said Chandan Kumat was an expert at water-proofing work and had been working in Mangaluru for past seven years. He had begun water-proofing work at the construction site of Rohan Suites commercial and fully furnished studio in Balmatta from Wednesday.

He also had invited Rajkumar to assist him in the water-proofing work. "I was working on water-proofing work at  a building in Nanthoor junction. I had talked to him over the phone at 10 am. After I learnt about the caving in of mud, I rushed to the construction site," informs Pappu Bhaita.

The distance from Mangaluru to Chandan Kumar's house in Uttar Pradesh is over 2,000 kms. Yet as many as 24 labourers from Uttar Pradesh and from the bordering villages in Bihar have found work as water-proofing experts in Mangaluru.

"There is plenty of risks in this job. We are paid over Rs 600 to Rs 700 per day for our work. All 24 labourers stay in rented houses in Malemar near Kottara Chowki," he informed.

MCC threatens action against ongoing construction works

Mayor Sudheer Shetty Kannur regretted that despite ban on digging and excavating mud during monsoon, builders had continued with excavation work at construction site throwing caution to the winds.

MCC Commissioner Anand C L directed builders to begin work on building projects at the end of monsoon. "Builders should stop ongoing work at construction site and take necessary precautionary steps. Strict action will be taken against builders who violate the ban orders under Disaster Management Act 2005," Commissioner warned.

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Published 03 July 2024, 16:32 IST

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