By Pradeep Kumar
ITANAGAR, May 14: Five Border Road Organisation (BRO) personnel of project Arunank died in a tragic incident in Nacho circle of Upper Subansiri district of Arunachal Pradesh on May 11 last afternoon, according to Arunank chief engineer Brig R S Rawal.
The incident occurred when 180-feet long bailey steel bridge along strategically important Nacho-Tama Chung Chung road near remote Limeking bordering China while launching collapsed into the river below 50 metre, he told this editor over telephone on Wednesday on receipt of the information from that non-communicated area of this Himalayan state.
The deceased included pioneers Baidur Rehman, Pramod Kumar, Mahabir Sah and Tapan Nath while hydraulic operator Anil Budhwar, who had suffered grievous injuries on his spine and pelvis died during evacuation to district headquarters Daporijo, he said. The mortal remains of four pioneers got stuck with the bridge but three were recovered when the last report was received and being dispatched to their native places, he informed.
Rescue operations poised sever challenges and difficulties due to incessant rains, very strong water current, high water level and steep cliff of the accident site. However, the diving team, including Army personnel, has been making all out efforts to retrieve the rest mortal remains, he said.
The CE conveyed his deep sense of condolences to the bereaved family members and prayed for the eternal peace of the departed souls. He said that the compensation as per laid down procedures would be paid to their next of kin while a departmental inquiry has been ordered to ascertain the facts of the accident, he added.
The 128 Road Construction Company under 23 Border Road Task Force (BRTF) is building this challenging road involving cutting and widening hilly terrain, bridging water gap and surfacing formation cutting.
It may be recalled that it was brave Sere Thapa of 2 J-K Rifles, who during the 1962 Chinese aggression hiding from a bunker in Tama Chung Chung ridge, had fought bravely and single handedly killed approximately 160 Chinese soldiers before becoming martyr.
The first bridge built by the BRO with a 600m steep climb is named after soldier Shere Thapa, while the locals had brought him mortal remains to Limeking, performed the last rites and built a grave, which stand tall today as a proof of gallantry act of Thapa, though Army failed to recognize his spirit for the cause of motherland.