BANIHAL/JAMMU: Rescuers have retrieved one more body from the scene of the landslide that hit the Jammu-Srinagar national highway in Ramban district of Jammu and Kashmir, taking the death toll in the incident to two, officials said on Sunday.
Eight persons have so far been rescued, while a search is on for an excavator operator who is believed to be trapped under the debris along with the earthmoving vehicle, the officials said.
The landslide struck the only all-weather road linking Kashmir with the rest of the country at Seeri near Ramban town around 6.15 pm on Saturday, causing damage to nine vehicles, mostly trucks and excavators engaged in an ongoing four-laning highway project.
Several vehicles, including a mini-load carrier, were buried under the debris, prompting a massive rescue operation which continued throughout the night, the officials said.
While the body of 25-year-old Raj Kumar was recovered soon after the landslide, 19-year-old Khalid Hussain was found dead under the debris by rescuers comprising police and local volunteers late Saturday night, they said, adding both the deceased were locals engaged in the four-laning project.
The officials said eight more persons were rescued and have been admitted to a local hospital.
They said over 800 vehicles, mostly trucks carrying essential commodities to the valley, were stranded on the highway due to the landslide which occurred when the work on the four-laning project was in progress.
However, road clearance agencies later managed to clear the highway for partial restoration of traffic.