Uttarkashi tunnel collapse: First visual contact with workers on Day 10; horizontal drilling resumes : The Tribune India

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Uttarkashi tunnel collapse: First visual contact with workers on Day 10; horizontal drilling resumes

IAF airlifts 18-tonne essential supplies from Rourkela to Dehradun

Uttarkashi tunnel collapse: First visual contact with workers on Day 10; horizontal drilling resumes

The rescue operation underway at Silkyara tunnel in Uttarakhand. PTI



Tribune News Service

Neeraj Mohan

Uttarkashi, November 21

On the 10th day of the arduous rescue mission inside the Silkyara tunnel, a glimmer of hope emerged as the trapped workers made their first visual appearance on camera, marking a significant breakthrough, even as the rescue teams initiated horizontal drilling from the tunnel entrance.

Editorial: Tunnel cave-in

The families of the 41 workers, trapped since Diwali in the partially collapsed tunnel, received a much-awaited positive message.

The first visuals of the trapped workers captured on camera. PTI

In the video footage, the trapped workers were seen interacting with officials who communicated with them, assuring them of their imminent rescue. “We will rescue you soon,” conveyed the officials to the workers, bringing relief to both the trapped individuals and their anxious families. This positive development followed the successful insertion of a six-inch-wide pipe by the rescue teams, providing a vital link to deliver larger quantities of food and essentials to the trapped workers. The additional pipe facilitated the delivery of their first hot meal, including khichdi, besides apples, oranges, sweet lime, bananas, medicine and salt. For dinner, they were served veg pulao, matar-paneer and chapatis. The horizontal drilling from the tunnel entrance is aimed at inserting 700 mm diameter pipes to minimise vibration during the auger machine drilling.

The work to rescue the workers resumed after removing debris from the already inserted pipes, with 22 metres covered and 31 metres remaining for the US-made machine to complete the drilling and pipe insertion.

Several other agencies are concurrently working on alternative plans, including 1.2-metre-wide vertical drilling to create an alternative route. The Indian Air Force airlifted 18 tonnes of essential supplies from Rourkela to Dehradun, with additional specialist equipment en route from Bengaluru. Also, Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Dhami chaired a meeting, urging officials to extend every possible assistance to the ongoing rescue operations. He emphasised continuous coordination with the families of the trapped workers, ensuring they receive unwavering support throughout this challenging ordeal.

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The Tribune News Service brings you the latest news, analysis and insights from the region, India and around the world. Follow the Tribune News Service for a wide-ranging coverage of events as they unfold, with perspective and clarity.

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