Rescue operations have intensified in an attempt to save the lives of 40 workers trapped inside a collapsed tunnel in the Uttarkashi district of Uttarakhand, India. In a pivotal move, rescue teams are now expanding their efforts by drilling down from the top of the mountain, hoping to gain access and bring the workers to safety.
To facilitate this new approach, a platform is being meticulously prepared to accommodate the drilling machine at the site in the Himalayan state. Simultaneously, another attempt will be made to reach the workers from the mouth of the tunnel. Previous efforts to drill through the debris there have unfortunately proven unsuccessful.
The incident occurred when a landslide in the area caused a portion of the tunnel, which was still under construction, to cave in last Sunday. Despite the dire circumstances, officials have managed to establish contact with the trapped workers and are providing them with essential supplies such as oxygen and food.
Detailing the latest rescue strategy, Uttarkashi’s District Forest Officer, DP Baluni, explained, “A spot has been identified and marked right above the tunnel. We will drill a hole from there.” In preparation for this operation, excavation equipment has been mobilized to create a level surface for the drilling machinery. Major Naman Narula, the leader of the federal rescue teams, expressed hope that the platform would be completed by Sunday. The anticipated depth of the hole is between 300 and 350 feet (90-105m).
Officially, it may take an estimated four to five days to successfully rescue the trapped workers if all goes according to plan. Meanwhile, tensions have surfaced as relatives and friends of the workers confronted rescue officials regarding the perceived lack of progress. A distraught individual pleaded, “It’s been seven days, and my brother is still trapped in there!”
In response, rescuers empathetically shared their sleepless nights, dedicated to the mission of reaching the workers. One official emotionally revealed, “The boys inside the tunnel are like my own children. I silently shed tears when I retire to my bunk at night. I cannot mourn in front of you, for it would shatter your hope.”
The Silkyara tunnel, situated in Uttarkashi district, is an integral part of the federal government’s ambitious highway project aimed at enhancing connectivity to renowned pilgrimage sites in Uttarakhand. As a state blessed with numerous iconic Hindu pilgrimage spots, Uttarakhand is home to several holy sites nestled amidst its majestic peaks and glaciers.
In their race against time, rescue teams are utilizing a water pipeline originally set up for construction work to supply the trapped workers with essential provisions, including oxygen, food, and water.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Q: What caused the collapse of the tunnel in Uttarakhand?
A: The collapse was caused by a landslide that affected a section of the tunnel still under construction.
Q: How are the workers being provided with essential supplies?
A: A water pipeline originally established for construction purposes is currently being used to supply the trapped workers with oxygen, food, and water.
Q: What is the government’s ambitious project in Uttarakhand?
A: The federal government is carrying out a highway project to improve connectivity to significant pilgrimage spots in Uttarakhand.
Q: How long is the estimated rescue operation expected to take?
A: If all goes according to plan, the rescue operation could take around four to five days.
– Uttarakhand Tourism Official Website: https://uttarakhandtourism.gov.in/
– BBC News: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-61125890