Illegal gemstome quarrying: Worker feared dead under boulder in Odisha’s Boudh

Boudh: A man along with eight others had gone to Kularikuda Ghat of river Mahanadi in Boudh district yesterday afternoon to illegally quarry gemstones. However, in a fatal mishap, he got trapped under a large rock in the water and was not rescued till the time when this report was filed.

The trapped man has been identified as a resident of Beladula village in the district.

According to a source, around nine persons were engaged by a gemstone mafia to excavate the riverbed for nearly the last fifteen days. During mid-day, five of them were having their lunch nearby and the remaining were quarrying sands in search of gemstones at a rocky area of the riverbed. Unfortunately, a large rock caved in and the man got trapped beneath it in the water at around 1.30 pm.

Despite a frantic rescue operation launched by the other persons engaged in the work, the man could not be traced. Later, the matter was reported to the local police, and an FIR was lodged.

Acting on the FIR, police reached the spot and initiated a probe. A JCB machine was pressed into service for the operation. A heavy-duty pump was put to use to dry up the pit, the source added.

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