At least 17 are killed when a stone quarry collapses in India’s northeast. 14 others remain missing

Trees swing during heavy winds and rains caused by Cyclone Remal along the coastal areas at Bakkhali, South 24 parganas, West Bengal, India, Monday, May 27, 2024. (AP Photo/Ashim Paul)

GUWAHATI, India (AP) — A stone quarry collapsed Tuesday in India’s northeast due to heavy rain triggered by a tropical storm, killing 17 quarry workers and leaving 12 missing, officials said.

Senior police officer Rahul Alwal said rescuers recovered the bodies of those killed in the quarry in Melthum, about 6 kilometers (3.5 miles) from the Mizoram state capital, Aizwal, and were able to pull out two workers alive from the debris.

Alwal said rescue workers were trying to reach trapped workers while searching for more survivors.

Mizoram has many quarries where stones are mined for road and building construction. Many companies, however, extract stones without getting the required environmental clearance.

Last year, seven workers were killed in the state’s Mamit town when a stone quarry collapsed. In 2022, 12 workers were killed in another similar collapse.

Alwal said four more people were killed in separate landslides in the state.

India’s northeastern states are experiencing heavy rainfall after tropical storm Remal made landfall in Bangladesh on Monday.

India’s Meteorological Department has warned that heavy rains may damage vulnerable structures and thatched houses and trigger landslides in the region.