Rescue operations are ongoing to evacuate 40 workers trapped inside a collapsed tunnel in Uttarakhand. Trucks carrying pipes have arrived to create a platform for drilling and inserting metal pipes to reach the trapped workers. Meanwhile, the Uttarakhand government has constituted a six-member expert committee to investigate the Uttarkashi tunnel accident.
A portion of the under-construction tunnel between Silkyara and Dandalgaon on the Brahmakhal-Yamunotri national highway collapsed in the early hours of 12 November.
Uttarkashi tunnel collapse: Oxygen supply continues, efforts underway to rescue trapped workers with steel pipe
The authorities said that a platform is being prepared for an auger machine to drill horizontally and insert large 900 mm diameter MS pipes in between the debris so that the trapped workers can be taken out through the metal pipes.
Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami on Monday conducted an on-site inspection of the rescue operations.
“I myself visited the spot and conducted an on-site inspection and am constantly keeping an eye on the rescue operations. Arrangements have been made to send large diameter hume pipes from Haridwar and Dehradun for rescue operations,” Dhami said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, and Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw have also inquired about the trapped workers and taken stalk of the situation.
As per the statement by Uttarkashi Superintendant of Police (SP) Arpan Yaduvanshi, the rescue work may be over by Tuesday (14 November).
Contact is being maintained with the trapped labourers and the assurance that a huge rescue operation is being carried out by various agencies to evacuate them has also boosted their morale, NHIDCL Executive Director Col (retd.) Sandip Sudehra said.
He said that out of the 60 metres of debris, over 20 metres of debris had been cleared and they expected to evacuate the 40 people trapped inside by Tuesday night.
The Silkyara Tunnel is 4531 meters long and is being constructed for ₹853.79 crore. The National Highways & Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited (NHIDCL) is the agency engaged in building the tunnel.
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