Four employees missing after water tunnel burst at Kopili Hydel Project in Umrangso


Four persons including three employees of the NEEPCO-run Kopili Power Project went missing following a burst in a water tunnel at Umrangso early Monday morning that also led to massive flooding at the power project site and in other parts of the town.

Efforts are under way to rescue the missing employees who have been identified as Robert Baite, Prem Pal Balmiki, Joy Sing Timung (all Kopili Hydel project employees) and an employee of a firm involved in tunnel repair work.

The burst in the water tunnel that carries water at 12000 litres/sec from the NEEPCO reservoir to the Kopili Hydro Power Project site led to massive flooding and a water fountain that rose up to several hundred feet into the sky. People said they heard a deafening sound and then saw the water sprout.

The missing employees were reportedly engaged in repair works when the incident took place.

The water tunnel that cracked was incidentally repaired last year by a team of experts.

Senior NEEPCO and Dima Hasao district and police officials have rushed to the spot to assess rescue efforts.