More than 600 tourist vehicles have been stranded at Sajek in Rangamati’s Baghaichhari upazila as the road communication to the tourist destination has been snapped since Tuesday midnight following the collapse of a hillside.

The collapse took place in Nandaram area on the Baghaihaat-Sajek road on Tuesday night. Members of the law enforcement agencies along with locals started removing the rubble from the road at 11:00am on Wednesday.

Police and local sources said the hillside collapsed between 11:00pm and 12:00am on the night. Law enforcement agencies, public representatives and locals went to the spot immediately, but could not remove the large amount of collapsed mud from the road. 

An excavator of Bangladesh Army went to the spot and started removing the rubble from the road at 11:00am. It will take at least five hours to restore vehicular movement on the road, said sources. 

Atulal Chakma, chairman of Sajek Union Parishad, said members of Bangladesh Army, Police, Border Guard, and locals have been working to remove the rubble and restore vehicular movement. He expects that the situation will be normal by the evening. 

Surpon Dev Barman, president of Resort-Cottage Owners’ Association at RuiLui tourist centre, said the convoy of tourists are normally taken to and from Sajek Valley with the escort of law enforcement agencies. 

More than 300 vehicles with around 3,000 tourists on board were supposed to leave the Sajek Valley at 11:00am on Wednesday, but it did not happen due to the hillside collapse.

The scenario of the opposite side was also the same as another 300 vehicles were supposed to enter the tourist spot, but are now stranded at Baghaihat, he said, expressing fear that the businesses would suffer losses if the situation does not improve quickly.