Two killed in airstrip wall collapse as storm pounds Malkangiri in Odisha

The Nor’wester which brought with it gale wind reaching over 150 km ripped through the town.

Published: 02nd June 2023 10:46 AM  |   Last Updated: 02nd June 2023 10:46 AM   |  A+A-

The collapsed wall of Malkangiri airstrip | Express

The collapsed wall of Malkangiri airstrip | Express

Express News Service

MALKANGIRI: An under-construction perimeter wall of the Malkangiri airstrip collapsed, killing two labourers after a powerful Nor’wester hit the district headquarters town on Thursday afternoon. In the summer storm that left a trail of damage, two persons went missing in Satiguda reservoir. Till late evening, there was no trace of the two who apparently had gone fishing in the water body.

The Nor’wester which brought with it gale wind reaching over 150 km ripped through the town. In the strong wind and accompanying rain, five labourers engaged in the construction of the compound wall of the airstrip suffered serious injuries when the structure crumbled.

The injured were rushed to the district headquarters hospital where 19-year-old Mano Hembrum and 45-year-old Tilottama Beria perished. The rest are under treatment and may have to be shifted to Koraput.
The airstrip, being built over 93 hectare, has a 6,600-metre long compound wall. The mishap took place during construction of the last 600 metre stretch. The runway of the airstrip is expected to be ready by December.

Meanwhile, Govind Sardar (35) of MV-111 and Tulsa Madhi (45) of Bhimarangini village are feared to have drowned after their boats capsized in Satiguda reservoir, situated around 4 km from the town.

Additional tehsildar of Malkangiri Jagdish Kartami said Govind was fishing in the reservoir when his boat capsized during the thunderstorm. Similarly, Tulsa and her son had gone to the reservoir for fishing when their boat sank due to the storm. While Tulasa went missing, her son managed to swim ashore.  Continued on P11

Kartami said an ODRAF team from Koraput is on way to Malkangiri to trace the missing duo from the reservoir.Sources said the nor’wester with wind speeding touching 150 km per hour struck Malkangiri town in the afternoon, tearing off roofs, uprooting trees and choking traffic for around 10-15 minutes. At least 50-60 kutcha houses were partially damaged as heavy rains accompanied by gusty winds pounded various parts of the town.

Similarly, around 200 trees were either uprooted or had their branches broken due to the storm. The broken trees blocked many roads, disrupting vehicular traffic for some time. Fire services personnel and staff of Malkangiri municipality were immediately roped in to remove the trees and clear the roads, Kartami added.


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