Uttarkashi tunnel collapse: Auger drill stuck in rubble, trapped workers likely to remain stuck for weeks | 10 updates | Mint
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Business News/ News / Uttarkashi tunnel collapse: Auger drill stuck in rubble, trapped workers likely to remain stuck for weeks | 10 updates
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Uttarkashi tunnel collapse: Auger drill stuck in rubble, trapped workers likely to remain stuck for weeks | 10 updates

Workers trapped in the Silkyara tunnel in Uttarkashi since November 12. A rescue operation has started with the help of international experts and Indian teams. Meanwhile, the Auger machine malfunction briefly halted the rescue.

Uttarkashi tunnel rescue: Entrance of the tunnel from Silkyara side of the Silkyara Bend-Barkot Tunnel where 41 workers are trapped inside the under-construction tunnel with ongoing rescue operation. (PTI)Premium
Uttarkashi tunnel rescue: Entrance of the tunnel from Silkyara side of the Silkyara Bend-Barkot Tunnel where 41 workers are trapped inside the under-construction tunnel with ongoing rescue operation. (PTI)

Uttarkashi tunnel collapse news: Forty-one workers have been trapped inside an under-construction tunnel in Uttarakhand's Uttarkashi since it collapsed on November 12 following falling debris due to a landslide from the Silkyara side. Rescue efforts have since been going on and international tunnelling experts have been called in for support. A number of teams have also arrived from across India with a number of mechanical equipments at the tunnel site to aid the operation.

Also read: Uttarkashi tunnel collapse LIVE: Auger drill stuck in rubble, no quick exit in sight now for trapped workers

The multi-agency rescue operation was halted yesterday, November 25, again when the blades of the Auger machine got stuck while drilling. Now that the officials are working out another option to rescue the trapped workers, the workers might remain trapped for another few weeks.

Also read: Uttarkashi tunnel collapse: NDRF shows how 41 stranded workers will be rescued | Watch video

UTTARKASHI TUNNEL RESCUE: 10 UPDATES

  1. Retired National Disaster Management Authority Member, Lt General Syed Ata Hasnain on Saturday informed that a portion of the American-Auger machine broke while a horizontal drilling operation was ongoing. Hence there was no movement in the previous day in the drilling work to rescue the trapped workers for the past 14 days. He said, “This operation could take a long time."
  2. He further informed that vertical drilling would begin in the “next 24 to 36" hours as it was a quicker approach among the other two main options that were being considered.
  3. Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) came up with the initiative to provide the trapped workers with a landline through which they could have talk with their families. A BSNL official, Kundan, informed that the process of sending a small landline phone to the stranded workers through the pipe is underway. He said, “Through this, they will be able to talk directly to their families."
  4. Yesterday, officials shifted their operation to two alternative techniques when Auger machine blades broke while drilling. The alternative approach involves manual drilling through the remaining 10 or 12-metre stretch of the 60-metre stretch that has already been drilled. Rubble drilling from above was also considered which involves drilling 86 metres down.
  5. Stranded workers were provided with mobile phones through a 6-inch pipe to get them involved and so that they could play video games, informed senior official involved in the rescue operation. He further added, “There is no mobile network nearby but we are also considering providing Wi-Fi connectivity." 
  6. He further said, "We are also considering providing a cricket bat and ball to the workers so that they can play cricket. You can spend your time playing because there is a lot of space inside the tunnel where the workers are trapped, so cricket can be played easily." 
  7. International tunnelling expert Arnold Dix informed that the trapped workers will be out “by Christmas."
  8. Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami informed that once the stuck equipment is taken out from the planned escape passage manual drilling would resume.
  9. Around a 47-metre stretch of the rescue passage has been bored and further rescue operations would involve manual drilling under which individual workers will drill for a short period in confined space and take turns.
  10. On Saturday, heavy vertical drilling equipment was brought to the Silkyara site through a half-kilometre hill road that was constructed in the last few days by the Border Road Organisation (BRO).

Also read: Uttarkashi Tunnel Collapse: Trapped brothers unaware of cousins' death, family says 'don’t want them to know'

In order to take stock of the situation inside the tunnel, an endoscopic camera is being used to send live visuals. The stranded workers are being sent solid food, medicines, multivitamins, anti-depressants and other essentials through the six-inch wide pipe inside the tunnel where water and electricity are available.

(With agency inputs)

 

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Published: 26 Nov 2023, 08:01 AM IST
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