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Even after 72 hours, excavator operator remains untraced in Maharashtra

A disaster cell official said an NDRF (National Disaster Response Force) team conducted technical and physical search and even used sniffer dogs, but so far the operator remains untraced.
Last Updated : 01 June 2024, 16:48 IST
Last Updated : 01 June 2024, 16:48 IST

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Palghar: Rescuers are battling against time as about 72 hours have passed since an excavator operator was trapped under the debris following a cave-in at a water project site in Maharashtra’s Palghar, but so far, neither the man nor the machine has been spotted.

A disaster cell official said an NDRF (National Disaster Response Force) team conducted technical and physical search and even used sniffer dogs, but so far the operator remains untraced.

The excavator operator was trapped after the soil and wall structure collapsed during work on a tunnel shaft at the Surya water supply project site in Sasun Navghar village, some 50 km from Mumbai, around 9 pm on Wednesday night.

A search involving agencies, including the NDRF, was launched after the incident.

"Concrete walls are being cut using a diamond cutter. MMRDA (Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority) has also appointed an agency for the removal of debris," Vivekanand Kadam, who heads the Palghar District Disaster Cell, told PTI on Saturday night.

He said workers at the site are also helping in removing the debris with the support of NDRF personnel.

Rescuers had drilled holes in the tunnel shaft and were trying to locate the trapped person with the help of cameras. The rescuers were moving cautiously to avoid more cave-ins, he had said.

Amid the operation, relatives and colleagues of the trapped person anxiously waited outside the accident spot praying for his safety.

The Surya Regional Water Supply Scheme is an initiative of the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority, envisioned to provide drinking water to the ever-increasing population in the MMR region, as per officials.

A treatment plant was set up and infrastructure was built to supply treated water. Under this scheme, 403 MLD (million litres per day) of water will be provided to areas under the Mira-Bhayander and Vasai-Virar municipal corporations, and nearby villages in and around Palghar district.

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Published 01 June 2024, 16:48 IST

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