An Indian man, whose body was only discovered because his arm was sticking out of a road, fell down a pothole and was buried alive by construction workers.

The Times of India reported Latori Barman was walking home in an inebriated state last Friday night Indian time when he slipped down the pothole on an under-construction road in the Katni district of Madhya Pradesh.

Constructing workers were at the time working on the stretch of road and filled in the pothole with molten bituminous material, the Times reported.

A dumper then ran over it to level the stretch.

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It would have gone unnoticed had villagers not spotted the arm sticking out of the tarmac the following day.

Mr Barman was a resident of Khadra Village.

Police told the Times Barman had gone to Rishi Panchmi fair with his wife on Friday night. While his wife stayed back at her parent's house, he returned to his village after a brief halt at a liquor shop.

"It was dark and there were no warning signs. He would have been walking in an inebriated condition when he fell into the pit between Udlana and Hata village and lost consciousness. Traffic had been restricted on the stretch as the pit occupied more than half of the road," an investigating officer told the paper.

Heavy machines were being used for the road construction work.

"Workers must not have noticed him while filling the pothole with bitumen," the officer told the Times.