One killed, nine missing in Kashmir tunnel collapse

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SRINAGAR, India – Rescuers have found the body of a worker in Indian-controlled Kashmir after a tunnel collapsed in the Himalayan region and are searching for nine more trapped, officials said Friday.

The tunnel is part of a hilly highway tunnel system that was under construction when it collapsed in the South Ramban district on Thursday night.

Musarat Islam, a top civilian official in Ramban, said the body of a worker had been recovered from the eastern state of West Bengal. He said various teams were working to rescue the nine workers who were still missing.

“We hope we find someone alive,” Islam said.

Emergency workers were using earthmovers to clear debris and rescue stranded workers.

Earlier, three workers trapped at the entrance to the tunnel were rescued and were being treated at a hospital, said Amir Ali, an official with the government’s disaster management department.

Ali said the part that collapsed was an approach tunnel used for ventilation and to move supplies and equipment into the main, under-construction tunnel.

The tunnel is part of a vast network of bridges and tunnels on strategic highways connecting the two major cities of the region, Srinagar and Jammu.

“We have been here since morning. No one knows what will happen to those trapped under the mountain, ”said Nazir Ahmed, whose nephew and a neighbor were trapped. “Now everything is in the hands of the Almighty.”

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