B. Madhu Gopal

The constables were attacked by Maoists in their launch in Balimela reservoir

Many more bodies are still trapped

in the cabin

Chitrakonda (Orissa): Not much headway could be made into the retrieval of bodies of the Greyhound constables who met with a watery grave following an attack by Maoists on their launch in the Balimela reservoir, despite concerted efforts by the Andhra Pradesh and Orissa police, Greyhounds and the Navy.

Only five bodies could be recovered till evening on Thursday. This brings the total number of bodies retrieved during the last four days to seven. Rescue efforts are being hampered by the fact that the launch sank into the reservoir that is more than 100 feet deep. Many bodies are trapped in the cabin of the overturned launch.

The spot where the firing took place is located in between hills, about 5 km away from the Balimela dam ferry point.

The rescue teams which pitched tents on the hill slope said efforts were being made to cut open the cabin of the launch to retrieve the bodies. A launch was positioned exactly on the spot where the ill-fated launch sank and scuba divers were lowered into the water with the help of ropes.

As the retrieved bodies surfaced one after the other, Greyhounds Inspector General Rajiv Trivedi and Greyhounds SP Vinit Brijlal rushed on boats and personally pulled them ashore before ferrying them in launches to the ferry point.

Heavy security

Rescue workers said it would take at least two more days for retrieval of all the bodies. The operation is being done amid heavy security.