Jeypore: After four days, the Army Engineering team recovered the body of a JCB operator from a heap of boulders of a hill near Bariput in Odisha’s Koraput district in the afternoon on Sunday.
Efforts are on to recover the body of another JCB operator, sources said.
Since the body could not be identified as it was decomposed, the district administration has called up the family members for identification.
The two JCB operators— Ghanashyam Guru of Deogarh and Sanjay Dash of Athagarh area in Cuttack district— were engaged in excavating boulders for the ongoing Telengiri Irrigation project near Bariput village when a portion of the hill suddenly caved in around 5 pm on May 31.
The district administration had started the rescue operation on the next day with the help of the ODRAF team and the fire tenders. But as the teams failed to remove the huge boulders, the NDRF team from Mundali in Cuttack was pressed in the rescue work. However, the team failed in its mission due to the absence of heavy duty machinery to remove the huge boulders weighing up to 20-50 tonnes.
As a last resort, the administration had sought the help of the Army. Following the request, an Army Engineering Team from Ranchi arrived at Bariput on June 6 and started the rescue operation on the next day.
The team, after examining the details had suggested the district administration that the only option is to blast off the boulders to rescue the trapped operators.
Acting on the suggestion, the administration had asked the people to stay away from a radius of one km from the site and clamped prohibitory order under section 144.
The team after blasting seven boulders was able to locate the two JCB machines on Saturday.
On Sunday, the team after blasting two boulders found the body of one of the operators.
“We hope that the Army would be able to recover the body of another operator tentatively by Monday,” Koraput collector K Sudarshan Chakraborty, who was present at the site, told the media persons.