Ten of 19 workers rescued over two weeks after they went missing near India-China border

·2-min read
The workers were said to have lost their way and were wandering in dense forest for days (Screengrab/East Mojo )
The workers were said to have lost their way and were wandering in dense forest for days (Screengrab/East Mojo )

Authorities in India have rescued 10 of 19 labourers who went missing on 5 July from a construction site in Arunachal Pradesh, a northeastern state sharing its border with China.

Two of the labourers, identified as Kholebuddin Sheik and Shamil Sheik, were rescued by a team of the State Disaster Response Force on Sunday.

Found near Huri village in the Damin circle of the district, they were said to have lost their way and were wandering in dense forest for days.

Gejum Basar, officer-in-charge of Koloriang police station, told East Mojo that their health condition is critical “and doctors have advised to airlift them for better treatment”.

They told the search team that they left four labourers behind them as they were not able to walk through the dense forest and mountainous terrain, Kurung Kumey deputy commissioner Nighee Bengia told NDTV.

While three people reportedly died in the jungle, their bodies have not been recovered.

But according to the deputy commissioner, two workers died after falling into the river and one died while resting on a stone.

Authorities are working to trace the remaining missing individuals.

The labourers were working for the Border Roads Organisation in Kurung Kumey district and had gone missing about three weeks ago after they fled from the site when their contractor reportedly denied them leave for Eid, celebrated this year on 12 July.

Mostly Muslims and residents of Assam, the rescued workers said the police had divided them into two different groups of eight and 11 and started in different directions.

A team of 25 members from the SDRF has been conducting search operations, along with police and local officials.

It had to be called off on Sunday due to the threat from a venomous snake found in the region while the Indian Air Force was not able to use choppers because of bad weather.

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