Last Updated: November 17, 2023, 09:09 IST
Uttarkashi Tunnel Collapse Updates: An American Auger drill has been flown from Delhi to rescue the 40 labourers trapped after an under-construction tunnel collapsed in Uttarakhand collapsed five days ago. This piece of special machine is expected to cut through 70 metres of rock in an approximate 12 to 15 hours.
Reports stated that much of this rock came down from the roof during the rescue efforts. The machine works at a “theoretical speed” of 5 metres an hour, a report by NDTV stated.
A report by Navbharat Times stated that an ‘escape tunnel’ is being prepared from large diameter steel pipes. The drilling work, using the auger machine, began last evening. However, only one-and-a-half pipes could be inserted in the debris by Thursday. This is because special care is being taken to ensure proper alignment. Accordingly, it is being expected that the rescue work may take two more days.
NDTV, however, quoted Atul Karwal, the chief of National Disaster Relief Force, as saying that they are “hopeful” that the labourers could be brought to safety within “12 to 15 hours”.
The report stated that the authorities are planning to bore through the rock and insert an 80 cm (less than 3 feet) through which the labourers can crawl through. Karwal was quoted as saying that in case anyone is incapacitated or injured, “we can use stretchers and harnesses to bring them out.”
Karwal was further quoted as saying, “We might find some obstruction in the path.” He cited as examples iron rods from the roof that were already touching the rubble or more rock falls from the roof, NDTV stated.
Uttarkashi Tunnel Collapse: Top Points
• According to Navbharat Times, a laborer’s health deteriorated inside the tunnel late on Tuesday. He was reportedly feeling dizzy and nauseous, causing panic among other workers. On the advice of the doctors, medicines were sent to the laborer through a pipe. Some workers are complaining of fever, body ache and nervousness.
• State director general of police Ashok Kumar, who reached Silkyara, was quoted as saying that all the workers trapped in the tunnel are safe and continuous talks are being held with them. Twenty-two-year-old Mahadev, a resident of Jharkhand, who is trapped inside the tunnel, spoke to his maternal uncle. Mahadev said that he and all his companions are safe.