Nearly 47 hours after an accident at a stone quarry in Tamil Naduâ€™s Tirunelveli, the body of one more person was retrieved by rescue workers on Tuesday morning, May 17. The deceased has been identified as Murugan. Six workers were trapped in a pit more than 300-feet deep on May 14 after boulders came rolling down at the quarry. While three of them were rescued, efforts were underway to safely extract the other three. On Sunday, one of the rescued workers, Selvam, succumbed to his injuries on the way to the hospital.
The rescue operation by the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) was put on hold on Monday in view of the unstable rocky upper surface at the site, officials said. The NDRF team had managed to identify the spot of a worker who was covered under boulders on Monday, but they could not make further progress as pieces of rocks kept falling down and a chunk of a big boulder appeared to give way. After the rescue work recommenced this morning, Muruganâ€™s body was retrieved. Further works are underway to rescue Rajendran and Selvakumar, who are still under the debris.
Principal Secretary, Revenue Department, Kumar Jayant along with district officials inspected the spot and told reporters that teams would be constituted to inspect quarries in the state. Chief Minister MK Stalin directed the Minister for Backward Classes Welfare RS Rajakannappan to supervise the rescue operations, and said that suitable action would be taken after an inquiry into the incident. He also said that Rs 1 lakh would be released from the Chief Minister's Public Relief Fund to the injured.
Meanwhile, former Tamil Nadu MLA K Raviarunan sought an inspection at all quarries and has demanded strict action under the Goondas Act against violators. He also demanded Rs 20 lakh each to be given as ex-gratia to the family members of the deceased worker, and Rs 10 lakh be given to those injured.
(With PTI inputs)