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A water fountain formed soon after the rupture
A water fountain formed soon after the rupture |EastMojo image
ASSAM

Assam power plant mishap: Rising waters hinder rescue ops

Since rescue efforts are yet to start, kin of 4 persons missing after pipeline rupture at Kopili Hydro Electric Plant at Umrangso in Dima Hasao district remain clueless

Team EastMojo

Team EastMojo

Guwahati: The situation remains unchanged in the Kopili Hydro Electric Plant incident in Assam’s Dima Hasao district where four persons are feared trapped since Monday morning due to a pipeline burst. Meanwhile, rising water levels of river Kopili continues to act as a barrier to the rescue operations.

However, officials said they are hopeful that rescue operations will start soon, as they have opened the gates to reduce pressure.

Calling it a rare accident, officials appealed people to not panic.

The trapped persons are Robert Baite, Prem Pal Balmiki, Joy Singh Timung -- officials of the state-run North Eastern Electric Power Corporation (NEEPCO), and Raju Reddy, an employee of a private firm.

But no correspondence from officials has been agitating the relatives of the trapped persons.

Baite’s older brother said the night after the incident, they were there the whole night, anticipating that the water will subside but to no avail. He alleged that there was no one to inform them of the progress.

He purported that it is a safety measure failure that such an incident happened and since two days, the department wasn’t able to block the water flow.

Meanwhile relative of another victim said it’s not about blame game, but about taking responsibility. He said: “Since last night we haven't seen any rescue operators. They came, they saw and left…This is the question of their responsibility.”

Questioning the safety provisions of NEEFCO, he said if they picked up pace on Monday, there would be some development by now.

Another victim’s kin said that dead or alive, we want them.

The general secretary of Karbi students association said that the incident happened due to carelessness. He alleged that there is a shortage of staff, several memorandums have been submitted for recruitment, but to no avail.

He added that if there were more employees, then such an incident wouldn't have happened.

A large portion of the Kopili Hydro Electric Plant, including the entire pump house area, was inundated due to rupture in the pipeline that carries 12,000 litres of water per second in the wee hours of Monday. And a water fountain was soon formed after the rupture, rising hundreds of feet into the sky.