Eight workers were killed after an elevator carrying them snapped and plunged 210 feet down during the ongoing tunneling work for the Bhima-Nira river linking project near village Akole at Bhigwan, about 115km from here, in Indapur taluka of Pune district around 6.30pm on Monday. The toll could go up, police said.
A police officer said a probe was on to ascertain how the cable snapped, how old it was and what was its load-bearing capacity.
The project, part of the Union government’s river linking plan, envisages a 24-km tunnel link between Nira river at Tavshi and Bhima river near Ujani dam. The tunneling work was progressing in full swing at Akole, Kazhad and Dalaj villages along the stretch in three shifts. Additional superintendent of Pune rural police Tejaswini Satpute told TOI, “The accident took place after the elevator’s cable snapped. One victim is a local resident while the others are from different parts of northern India,” she said.
The site where the accident occurred has two elevators. “Some of the workers had just concluded their second shift and got into one elevator to come up to ground level. The elevator had travelled 90% of its distance when its cable snapped. We got an emergency call around 7pm,” a police officer said.