Tension has started simmering among the workers and families of the buried workers 

Update: Bodies of the five workers of Mangdechu hydropower project (MHP) , which have been trapped under 18 meters thick debris in a dam pit since August 14 couldn’t be retrieved as of yesterday .

The five workers were trapped in dam pit when a landslide triggered tons of debris over them. The workers comprised of a foreman, helpers and a pipe fitter and were engaged in fixing the water pump in the dam pit when the incident occurred.

By yesterday between 150-200 truckloads of muck have been removed and an excavation on one side had also reached the concrete base of the pit.

But only a helmet was unearthed on August 17 night. It could not be confirmed if the helmet belonged to one of the trapped workers or if someone who escaped the incident dropped it in a rush.

A whole day’s excavation yesterday unearthed a dilapidated water pump. No bodies or clothes were uncovered after 24 hours of digging and removal of wreckage of rocks, boulders, logs and soil.

To date, three controlled blasting were done to break huge rocks in the dam pit. But massive muck and boulders are yet to be cleared from the dam pit since no one is sure where the bodies are trapped.

Earlier, the workers working in the dam pit who escaped the slide predicted some workers to be trapped under a cave like space. The project was hoping to at least find one or two bodies by the cave by yesterday.

Officials still maintain that the bodies are trapped deeper than the cavity area but some have started to believe that the bodies could have been trapped in other areas.

Meanwhile, the employees of Jaypee with relatives of the trapped workers had also started a mild agitation on August 17. The uproar however, was quietly and promptly brought under control.

As retrieval efforts fail by the day, tensions have started building among the workers and relatives of the buried employees. Recovery works however are continuing and constant vigil is kept on the sliding areas above.

Tempa Wangdi, Trongsa