Siliguri: Two workers were killed at the Sevoke-Rangpo rail project site in northern West Bengal’s Kalimpong district as a heap of soil collapsed, burying them, officials said on Monday.

The incident happened on Sunday night at Kalikhola when digging work was underway for erecting a pillar for a rail bridge, they said.

The deceased were identified as Santosh Roy and Karu Oraon, both of whom are residents of Jharkhand, they added.

Roy and Oraon were working in a gorge when the soil from above collapsed on them.

They were rescued by other workers at the site and when taken to a local hospital, they were declared brought dead, officials said.

Later, the bodies were sent to the North Bengal Medical College and Hospital for post-mortem.

“We are in touch with the railway authorities over the incident,” Kalimpong’s district magistrate R Vimala said.

The 44-km-long project, which has seen much delay, will bring Sikkim to the country’s railway network.

Around 41 km of it is in West Bengal and about 3.5 km is in Sikkim. Nearly 70 per cent of the rail line will go through tunnels and bridges, officials said.

Total 14 tunnels and over 10 bridges are being built as part of the project, they said.

Environmental activists have been protesting against the project, pointing that hundreds of trees are being fell in the eco-sensitive region for the construction.

In June, two more workers were killed and five people injured due to mudslide during the construction of a tunnel in Bhalu Khola in Melli police station area.

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