40 trapped in Uttarakhand tunnel, rescue to take two more days : The Tribune India

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40 trapped in Uttarakhand tunnel, rescue to take two more days



Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 13

NDRF and SDRF personnel and police have been undertaking a search and rescue operation to save 40 workers trapped in an under-construction tunnel on the Char Dham route.

Under-construction tunnel on the Char Dham route.

A portion of the tunnel between Silkyara and Dandalgaon on the Brahmakhal-Yamunotri national highway collapsed in early hours of Sunday. All workers were safe and communicating, officials said on Monday as CM Pushkar Singh Dhami visited the site. However, authorities said the rescue operation could take up to two more days. Oxygen is being pumped through a water pipe into the collapsed section in order to ensure that the trapped labourers don’t have breathing problems.

Uttarakhand’s Secretary Disaster Management Ranjit Kumar Sinha said the trapped labourers could be rescued by Tuesday night or Wednesday. The rescue strategy is now focused on stabilising loose muck by shotcreting (concrete spraying) and pushing in a large diametre steel pipe through the rubble to evacuate trapped workers.

“About 15-20 metre of rubble has been removed so far and the process is on. We plan to push in a steel pipe of 800 mm diametre by boring a hole into the heap of debris. We hope to rescue the trapped by Tuesday night or Wednesday,” Sinha said.

The first communication with the labourers was established through wireless past midnight on Sunday. The labourers stuck inside the tunnel belong to UP, Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Odisha, Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh.

(With PTI inputs)

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