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Rescue of 41 trapped workers in Uttrakhand’s collapsed tunnel at final stage

Last Updated on November 28, 2023 at 4:03 pm

Relatives of the 41 workers trapped in the collapsed tunnel in Uttrakhand have been asked to “be prepared” as rescuers are about to bring them out. National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) personnel will now pull out the trapped workers one by one with the help of wheeled stretchers tied to ropes.

The workers will lie upon low-height, wheeled stretchers and NDRF personnel will pull them out one after another using ropes, officials had said a few days back.

Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami said that pipe laying work to reach the 41 workers trapped in the Silkyara tunnel in Uttarakhand’s Uttarkashi has been completed.

A team of “rat-hole miners” began manual drilling operations yesterday to reach the 41 workers trapped within the debris of the collapsed Silkyara Tunnel in Uttarakhand’s Uttarkashi as rescue ops entered Day 17.

Nodal Officer for the Silkyara rescue operation and Secretary to the Uttarakhand government, Neeraj Khairwal informed that if there are no more hurdles, the rescuers are anticipating an early evacuation of the trapped labourers.

He said, “As of now, we have pushed 55.3 metres of the pipe. This includes clearing of the rubble as well as laying the pipe. Only a little more distance remains. It might be somewhere between 57-59 metres. It might take a few more hours if there are no more hurdles. By evening we are hoping. Let’s pray and hope for the best”.

Meanwhile, officials said the workers will be taken to a hospital in Uttarkashi after being rescued where a special ward with 41 beds has been set up for them.

The under-construction tunnel is part of the ambitious Char Dham project, a national infrastructure initiative to enhance connectivity to the Hindu pilgrimage sites of Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri, and Yamunotri.