Rescue operation interrupted by villagers at Hindalco

Ranchi (IANS): One person has died as rescue operation could not get momentum on Wednesday as villagers were protesting against the making of temporary roads leading to the incident place. “One body of Amrendra Kumar is buried under the debris The NDRF team has started rescue work,” Ranchi Deputy Commissioner (DC) Rai Mahipat Ray told IANS earlier in the day. 

Ranchi Sub Divisional Officer (SDO) Garima Singh told IANS in the evening “ the path has been made to reach to debris. The NDRF team will start the removing of debris late on Wednesday or from Thursday morning” Asked about the villagers protest she said “ villagers were protesting for making path but they have been pacified”. The villagers protested halting NDRF team making of the path in area. The villagers say that their land will get barren if the debris is piled on their cultivable land. The villagers were seeking compensation. The NDRF team launched the rescue operation on Wednesday amidst heavy security arrangements. The debris has spread over the area causing a threat to the environment. The debris had spread over the railway track and others areas.

Hindalco, however, has said that only four people were injured, and no damage has been done to the environment. Many people were feared trapped and swept away in the debris as the caustic pond suddenly broke up following a land cave-in at Muri, situated around 25 km from Ranchi. According to local residents, the incident has taken place at the red mud store point which is left after manufacturing aluminum from bauxite. According to an eyewitness, the heap of mud caved in, causing the debris to spread rapidly, following which many workers were trapped. 

Hindalco was sealed in 2017 on order of the pollution control board for not following the environment and safety rules. The company was restarted last year. Opposition parties have alleged that the relief work started late. 

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