Tue, 05 Dec 2023

Uttarkashi (Uttarakhand) [India], November 17 (ANI): The International Tunnelling and underground space association has offered assistance to the Indian rescue team engaged in the evacuation operation of 44 labourers trapped after a tunnel collapse in Uttarkashi.

A portion of the tunnel that is being constructed between Silkyara and Dandalgaon on the Brahmakhal-Yamunotri National Highway collapsed in the early hours of November 11 following a landslide, trapping 40 workers inside.

Continuous operations have been going on in the area to rescue the labourers.

Anshu Manish Khulko, the Tunnel Project director of National HighwaysInfrastructure Development Corporation Limited (NHIDCL) said that at present the teams from Norway and Thailand have been kept an standby too, for the rescue operations.

Speaking to the media, NHIDCL Director Anshu Manish said "The work of pipe pushing with the help of auger machine is in progress to safely take out the workers trapped in the Silkyara Tunnel. So far, a distance of 24 metres of pipe has been laid inside the debris. To increase the retention capacity of the rescue operation, arrangements have also been made to airlift one more auger machine from Indore for backup so that the rescue operation continues uninterrupted".

Earlier, Heavy auger drilling machines were airlifted from Delhi to ease rescue operations at war footing.

Rescuers had prepared a platform for the auger drilling machine to insert large-diameter steel pipes into the debris-filled tunnel, that aims to create a passage through which labourers could be brought out safely.

"American augur machine is a highly advanced machine. Its work is going on in full swing. As per the latest update, four pipes have been inserted and the welding of a fifth one is underway. We can say that the auger machine is going well. If there are no hindrances by the debris, we will be able to make the tunnel and rescue them at the earliest...We can't give you a deadline as to when will the operation be complete but the technical workers are working hard round the clock and this will conclude at the earliest. All of them will be rescued" Uttarkashi SP Arpan Yaduvanshi said.

There have been sporadic outside the Silkyara-Barkot tunnel in Uttarakhand's Uttarkashi as workers remain concerned over the delay in rescuing 40 wowkers who have been trapped inside after a portion of the under-construction tunnel collapsed. (ANI)

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