Gangtok, May 29 (UNI) Four labourers were buried alive and twenty-two injured when an under construction PGMSY bridge collapsed at Chenzay near Rumtek in East Sikkim this evening.
While body of one of the dead had been retrieved, the other three were still buried and presumed dead at the moment of filing this report.
Rescue workers were trying to dig out the buried labourers, police said.
All four labouers were from Dooars in West Bengal.
Around 100 odd labourers were working at the site when the bridge suddenly collapsed on top of the labourers working below.
The injured had been rushed to the two hospitals in Gangtok.
They were stated to be out of danger.
'' We were about to wind up when the bridge suddenly collapsed,'' said one labourer at the STNM hospital. It is suspected that one of the pillars of the bridge had been breached.
The 15-m-long bridge was part of a PGMSY road project linking Rumtek with Lower Chenzay.
Prominent business and chief convener of a regional party Sikkim Himali Rajya Parishad, Thukchuk Lachungpa is the contractor of the road. He himself was present on the spot when the incident happened and had suffered fractures in his rib.
Mr Lachungpa is presently receiving treatment at Central Referral hospital.
Authorities had refused to give official reason for the collapse stating that it was too early to pinpoint the cause. A probe would be initiated, they said.
UNI BG KK/ RC VC2310