At least 15 people lost their lives and several others were missing when a massive landslide triggered by heavy rains hit a labour camp in Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh today.

The bodies have been retrieved from the spot along with one injured person, official sources said. Two other workers are feared to be trapped in the debris.

The incident occurred at around 3.30 AM when 17 labourers engaged in construction work were inside the camp in Thamla, about four km away from Tawang town, bordering China, Additional Deputy Commissioner (headquarters) Lod Gambo said. 

Senior officers are on the spot and rescue and relief operation was on. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has expressed grief over the loss of lives. In a message, the Prime Minister extended his condolences to the bereaved families.

 The district administration deployed men and materials in the rescue operation, including two JCBs. The PWD road between New Lebrang and government higher secondary school has also been blocked due to landslide while damage to residential buildings has been reported from the area. 

Heavy rainfall in the past few days in the district resulted in a flood like situation which severely damaged the Kitpi Ph-I and Ph-II hydel projects. Power department officials said restoration work could not be started due to the continuous rains and both the power stations had been shut down. 

Taking serious note of the situation, DC Duly Kamduk has directed the department to assess the damage and submit a report for action.