At least nine migrant labourers were killed after an elevator box being used for an under-construction tunnel plunged into the ground near Bhigwan in Pune district, 100 km from here.The incident occurred on Monday evening. The tragedy struck as the deceased were emerging from the underground tunnel aimed at linking the Nira and Bhima Rivers near Indapur Taluk. The deceased have been identified as Mukesh Maurya, Mukesh Kumar, Sushant Pandi, Sabinga Naidu, Avinash Reddy, Chhotu Gole, Surendra Yadav, Rahul Narute and Balram Suan.“The elevator carrying the workers and construction equipment plunged down at least 100 feet after the cable broke. We will be conducting a thorough probe into the tragedy,” said Inspector Neelkanth Rathod of the Bigwan police station.The State government has announced an ex gratia of ₹2 lakh to the kin of the deceased, informed State Water Resources Minister Girish Mahajan.The labourers were working on the project which involves the construction of a 24.8 km-long ‘Nira-Bhima Link -5’ underground tunnel which is to enable the waters of the Nira River to be linked to the Bima River Bhima in a bid to bring relief to parched districts in the State.
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