Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami on Wednesday visited the state disaster control room to assess its preparedness in view of the MeT department's red alert for rains in the state, even as two labourers were killed when shuttering of an under construction bridge fell over them in Rudraprayag district.
Intermittent rains in various parts of the state triggered a slew of landslides which left many roads clogged with rubble, leading to their closure for traffic. Schools remained closed for the day in districts where heavy rains were expected in view of the MeT department red alert.
Two labourers were killed and six injured when the shuttering (net of iron rods) of an under-construction bridge collapsed over them at Narkota in the Sirobagad area on the Rishikesh-Badrinath National Highway, officials said.
The accident took place at around 9 am, they said. A State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) team rushed to the spot and launched a search and rescue operation, pulling out the trapped labourers, Rudraprayag's District Disaster Management Officer Nandan Singh Parihar said.
Most of the labourers were from Hazaribagh in Jharkhand and Shahjahanpur in Uttar Pradesh. The bodies of the two labourers were extricated and those injured were rushed to a district hospital. They were later referred to a hospital in Srinagar district.
The bridge is being built as part of an all-weather road project. The accident took place when shuttering for the pillars of the bridge was being prepared, Parihar said.
A high-level probe will be conducted into the collapse of the under-construction bridge, Rudraprayag District Magistrate Mayur Dikshit said after his return from the accident site.
The MeT department has issued a red alert for rains in nine out of 13 districts in Uttarakhand, including Dehradun, Tehri, Pauri, Nainital, Champawat, Udham Singh Nagar, Haridwar, Bageshwar and Pithoragarh where heavy to very heavy to extremely heavy rains are expected in isolated places.
The chief minister visited the state disaster control room and asked officials to be alert and vigilant all the time. He asked them to be ready to deal with any emergency situation in minimum response time.
Most places across the state were lashed by rains with Haldwani receiving 154 mm of showers, Liti (151 mm) Didihat (115.50 mm), Kotdwar (91 mm), Karanpur in Dehradun (85.50 mm), Jolly Grant (80.40mm), Sahaspur (72mm) and Dharchula (69.20mm).
Landslides blocked eight state highways and 145 rural motor roads. Efforts are underway to open them. However, Char Dham Yatra continued uninterrupted.
(With PTI inputs)