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21 dead, several missing in stone quarry tragedy in Mizoram; heavy rain adds to woes

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Aizawl, May 28: At least 21 people, including two minors, were killed and seven others were missing as a stone quarry collapsed in Mizoram’s Aizawl district on Tuesday following incessant rain triggered by Cyclone Remal, officials said.

Meanwhile, in different incidents across the state, at least two people were killed and a few went missing in landslides, which also affected transport and even left Aizawl cut off from the rest of the country.

Disaster management and police officials said that 21 bodies had been recovered so far from the quarry site between Melthum and Hlimen in the Aizawl district while several others are still trapped under the debris following the collapse in the morning.

Disaster management personnel, police and local people continued hectic efforts to rescue the trapped people or recover the bodies. Heavy rain and intense winds were affecting the rescue operations, a disaster management official said, adding that seven of the victims are locals, while the remaining are from outside the state.

A minor boy and a minor girl were among the victims of the stone quarry collapse, while two persons were rescued alive.

Rain-triggered landslides were reported in several other districts, leaving two dead and a few others missing in different places and disrupting the movement of vehicles between the districts.

Aizawl has been cut off from the rest of the country due to multiple landslides on National Highway 6, the lifeline of the mountainous state.

Several buildings, houses, roads, and bridges were either damaged or swept away due to landslides and the heavy rain.

Chief Minister Lalduhoma held an emergency meeting with Home Minister K. Sapdanga, Chief Secretary Renu Sharma and other senior officials to review the situation. The government has also ordered all schools to be closed and government employees, except those involved in providing emergency and essential services, to work from home.

The Chief Minister and the Home Minister, accompanied by senior officials, also visited the stone quarry site. Lalduhoma announced a fund of Rs 15 crore to provide relief to the affected people and an ex gratia of Rs 4 lakh each to be given to the kin of those who died in the landslides.

President Droupadi Murmu and Home Minister Amit Shah expressed their grief over the deaths at the stone quarry mishap. “Saddened to learn about the loss of lives in a stone quarry collapse near Aizawl in Mizoram. My condolences to the bereaved families. I pray for the success of rescue and relief operations and wish for a speedy recovery of the injured”, the President said in a post on X. “Deeply saddened to know about the tragic accident at a stone quarry in Mizoram. My sincerest condolences to the families of the deceased, and I pray for the speedy recovery of the injured,” the Home Minister said in a post on X.

–IANS

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