Uttarkashi tunnel collapse: Another setback to rescue operation after the high-power drilling machine stalls on day 6

Even after rescuers are putting all their efforts to rescue the 40 workers trapped inside the collapsed tunnel, the unfavourable situation is constantly retarding the speed of the operation. On day 6 of the rescue operation, the high-power auger drilling machine stalled after drilling 22 meters on Friday.

Also read: Uttarkashi tunnel collapse: Without food, one can survive for…, an official on how they are helping 40 trapped labourers

The machine stopped working after its bearings were “damaged”. The drilling couldn’t make any progress after 9 am on Friday as the machine ceased to work anymore at 22 meters. The machine was deployed at around 10:30 am on Thursday after the previous machine got damaged due to a landslide. 

Also Read: Uttarkashi tunnel collapse: Experts from Norway, Thailand cave rescue roped in to save 40 trapped workers | 10 points

The first machine deployed at work made progress of three meters in half an hour of its operation, nine meters in the first six hours, 12 meters in nine hours, and 22 meters in 20 hours.

Also Read: Uttarkashi Tunnel collapse: 900-mm steel pipes to rescue 40 trapped men by Nov 14-15. What we know so far

To start the rescue operation again, an additional auger machine has been airlifted from Indore. The backup machine is expected to arrive at the accident site by Saturday morning.

The new machine can drill at the speed of 5 meters per hour. However, it might operate at the standard pace due to the present challenges.

Also Read Uttarkashi Tunnel collapse: Rescuers now 60-70 m away; workers to be extracted through 80 cm pipe. Top points

“As of now, 22-metre pipe-pushing has been completed. Positioning of the Fifth pipe is in progress. The machine is not able to push further as the machine is getting lifted and the bearings of the machine are getting damaged. Now they are anchoring machines to the platform by providing anchors. The progress of work is being monitored by experts,” said the National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation (NHIDC) in a press release.

The rescue team has reached 24 meters inside the tunnel, and is trying to reach the other end as soon as possible, said NHIDCL Director Anshu Manish Khalkho on Friday. 

The under-construction tunnel between Silkyara and Dandalgaon on the Brahmakhal-Yamunotri national highway collapsed in the early hours of November 12.

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Updated: 17 Nov 2023, 11:43 PM IST

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