Authorities said they were combing for five workers who were mislaid after being swept away by a runnel swollen by heavy rains at the camp in Mamkhola, Kalimpong district, West Bengal. They said the two were rescued and taken to Singtam District Hospital in nearby Sikkim. The rescuers also found a lash in the area, they added. The deceased was marked as Dhan Singh Bhandari (35 years old) from Nepal.
Eight workers involved in the erection of the Sevoke-Rangpo railway project disappeared when heavy rains washed away their camps on Friday morning, authorities said. Kalimpong police operated the search and rescue operation jointly with the rafting team. On Saturday morning, a disaster management team also rushed to the scene from Dabgram, West Bengal, while Siliguri sent a sniffer dog.
Continuous rainfall in the area hindered rescue operations, the authorities said. They said that traffic has been diverted from the area because the area is located on National Highway No. 10, the lifeline of Sikkim.
They said that a number of landslides occurred at NH10 in West Bengal between Rangpo and Melli, which blocked traffic and cut off the Sikkim border. A culvert near Mamkhola was also damaged, blocking the most important road.
The 29th mile landslide, about 60 kilometers from the Sikkim outskirts, was cleared and opened to one-way traffic on Friday night. Before further notice, travelers have been warned to avoid this time. The authorities stated that the alternative road from Mamring in the east of Sikkim to Meili in the south of Sikkim is being used until the landslide is eliminated.
At the same time, MLA Anjeeta Rajalim and District Collector M Bharani Kumar visited Kerabari, Chalisey and Melli Bazaar in the South Sikkim region to assess the damage caused by heavy rains. Authorities said Melli Bazaar is completely disconnected from Sikkim and the rest of West Bengal because all access roads have been razed.
The Revenue Surveyor has been instructed to conduct campaigning visits to damaged homes, Kumar said. Authorities said Meili Bazaar suffered multiple landslides and all affected families were evacuated and moved to safer government buildings.