A 70-year-old Jharkhand man “died of anxiety” a few hours before his son was evacuated along with 40 other workers trapped in the under-construction Silkyara tunnel in Uttarakhand on Tuesday night, his family said.
Baset alias Barsa Murmu was anxious for his son, 28-year-old Bhaktu, since he heard about the collapse of the tunnel on November 12, his family members said on Wednesday.
Barsa Murmu, a resident of Bahda village in East Singhbhum district, died at around 8 am on Tuesday when he was sitting on his cot, around 12 hours before Baktu was able to see light at the end of the tunnel.
When contacted, local government officials said they are yet to confirm the reason behind the death though it is suspected that Barsa Murmu died of heart attack.
Since Tuesday, Bhaktu’s mother Piti Murmu has stopped speaking and has been staring in the blank.
Barsa Murmu’s son-in-law Thakar Hansda who was there when the septuagenarian breathed his last said he was anxious about the well-being of his son and suddenly fell from the cot and died.
The family members said Barsa Murmu anxiously kept waiting for information regarding his son’s rescue.
Officer-in-charge, Dumaria police station, Sanjeevan Oraon who visited the victim’s place, said the reasons behind the death are not known.
Civil Surgeon, East Singhbhum, Dr Jujhar Manjhi said they had information of the death but no medical report has reached them as yet.
Bhaktu along with 14 others from Jharkhand is recuperating at AIIMS Rishikesh where he reached along with others for the health check-up around 2 pm on Wednesday.
“The Uttarakhand government has kept the workers under observation. As soon as they are released from the hospital, we will airlift them to Ranchi,” Jharkhand Labour Secretary Rajesh Kumar Sharma told PTI.
Quoting Uttarakhand officers, he said the workers will be kept under observation at AIIMS Rishikesh for 24 hours.
“Once it is complete, we will take our workers to Dehradun from where they will fly to New Delhi. They will fly to Ranchi from New Delhi as there is no direct flight between Dehradun and Ranchi,” Sharma said.
A three-member Jharkhand government team had reached Uttarkashi soon after the tunnel collapse.
The successful operation to rescue 41 workers trapped in an under-construction road tunnel in Uttarakhand culminated on Tuesday night.
A portion of the under-construction tunnel on Uttarakhand’s Char Dham route collapsed on November 12, blocking the exit of the workers who were inside.
Food, medicines and other essentials were sent to them through a six-inch pipe pushed through the debris.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)