At least eight workers were feared dead after an elevator, they were using in an under construction tunnel linking Nira and Bhima rivers, plunged into the ground near Bhigwan in Pune district, on Monday evening.
According to officials, the elevator collapsed after its cable broke.
The construction of an underground tunnel 200 feet below the surface is in progress under the river linking project of Nira-Bhima near Akole village in Indapur.
Police-sub inspector BN Pawar of Bhigwan police station said that the incident happened at around 6:30pm when the workers were returning to the ground using the tunnel after completing their work. “At around 6.30 pm, when the labourers were coming up from the underground tunnel, the elevator’s cable broke. All those killed in the accident are migrant workers,” said Pawar.
According to Pawar, the cables of the elevator broke mid-way and the lift plunged into the ground from a height of around 100 feet.
He added that a team of police officials reached the spot and the work of ascertaining the identities of the deceased is going on.
The project, under the Krishna-Bhima stabilisation scheme, involves the construction of a 24.8 km-long ‘Nira-Bhima Link -5’ tunnel. Once completed, water from Nira will reach Bhima through the tunnel.
Water resource minister Girish Mahajan announced an ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh to the kin of each of the deceased.