POKHARA, Dec 2: At least five laborers died when a mound of soil caved in at Pokhara Metropolitan City-20 on Sunday. The laborers were constructing a retaining wall when the mound of soil caved in, according to the District Police Office, Kaski.
All the deceased are the residents of Salyan, Baghchaur Municipality-4.
The deceased have been identified as Ganesh Oli, Toman Basnet, Khim Lal Oli, Bir Bahadur Basnet and Jogendra Budhathoki.
According to Superintendent of Police (SP) Dan Bahadur Karki, chief of Kaski Police, the mound of soil caved in at around 7.30 in the morning. “All the deceased have been identified as the residents of Salyan district,” he said.
The police reached the incident scene after Khim Lal Basnet, who was able to escape the tragedy, reached the police station and informed the police about the incident. Only Khim Lal Basnet was able to escape the tragedy, according to police. Separate teams of Nepal Police, Armed Police Force and Nepal Army reached the incident site for rescue operation.
According to Sim Gurung, ward chairperson of Pokhara Municipality-20, the incident site is eight kilometers away from the Manipal-Ryalechaur-Maujabisauna-Sikles-Manang road section.
Gurung further added that a total of 176 laborers have been mobilized to upgrade the road. The metropolitan city is working to take the dead bodies of the laborers to Salyan.
“The road was being upgraded aiming at connecting the rural parts of the municipality with the city. The plan was to gravel the road this fiscal year and blacktop it the next fiscal year,” said Raju Regmi, an engineer at the Urban Infrastructure Department of the Metropolitan City. “The road section was being widened and upgraded. The laborers were constructing a retaining wall while the mound of soil caved in,” she added.
According to the Pokhara Metropolis, it is upgrading a total of 219 kilometers of road sections in the rural part of the municipality. The municipality has allocated a total of Rs 400 million for the project.