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Uttarkashi Tunnel Collapse: CM Pushkar Singh Dhami Visits Site, Complete Rescue May Take 2 More Days

The portion of the under-construction tunnel that collapsed is located between Silkyara and Dandalgaon on the Brahmakhal-Yamunotri National Highway in Uttarakhand's Uttarkashi district. The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), State Disaster Response Force (SDRF), and Uttarakhand Police personnel are engaged in relief and rescue efforts.

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Rescue operation underway after a portion of a tunnel under construction between Silkyara and Dandalgaon on the Brahmakhal-Yamunotri national highway collapsed in Uttarkashi, Uttarakhand.
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Contact has been established with 40 workers trapped in a collapsed under-construction tunnel in Uttarakhand's Uttarkashi district and food, water, and oxygen supplies have been provided to them, according to officials. Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami inspected the site along with officials and discussed the strategy being followed for the safe rescue of the trapped workers. 

According to PTI, even though the authorities assured that the rescue operation would be done by Monday, it could take up to two more days as per the latest updates.

The Ministry of Road Transport & Highways said on Monday that coordinated efforts are being made to evacuate the stranded workers at the earliest from the Silkyara tunnel collapse site in Uttarakhand

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An under-construction tunnel part of the Brahmakhal-Yamunotri National Highway collapsed on Sunday in Uttarakhand's Uttarkashi district. The incident happened on the Silkyara-Dandalgaon stretch. 

The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), State Disaster Response Force (SDRF), Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), Border Roads Organisation (BRO), and Uttarakhand Police personnel are engaged in relief and rescue efforts. Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami has reached Uttarkashi to take stock of the situation and Prime Minister Narendra Modi has also held a conversation with him regarding the situation. 

While officials have said that contact has been established with the workers and that food, water, and oxygen supplies have been provided to them, no breakthrough in efforts to extract them has yet been reached. Here are the latest updates.

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Incident occurred on Sunday morning, rescue efforts on

A portion of the under-construction tunnel part of the Brahmakhal-Yamunotri National Highway collapsed on Sunday morning. 

The information was first received of the incident at around 8:45 am on Sunday morning, according to Hindustan Times.

Superintendent of Police (Uttarkashi) Arpan Yaduvanshi told PTI that the incident is understood to have taken place between 6-7 am on Sunday.

Uttarkashi District Disaster Management Officer Devendra Patwal told HT, "We received infor- mation from NHIDCL about the incident at 8.45 am. The incident occurred at a distance of 270 metres from the entrance to the tunnel from the Silkayara-end. Debris has piled up in a 30-metre portion of the tunnel."

The paper further reported that the collapsed portion of the tunnel is 35 metres in length. 

While initially 36 workers were understood to be trapped, later the list of 40 workers was released. Most of the workers are from Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, and Odisha. While initially 36 workers were understood to be trapped, later the list of 40 workers was released. Most of the workers are from Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, and Odisha. Of the 40 workers, 15 are from Jharkhand, eight from Uttar Pradesh, five from Orissa, four from Bihar, three from West Bengal, and two each from Uttarakhand and Assam, and one from Himachal Pradesh, according to a list issued by the District Emergency Operation Centre and reported by PTI.

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The tunnel is being constructed by Navayuga Engineering Company Limited under the central public sector undertaking (PSU) National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited (NHIDCL).

Rescue efforts began soon after the incident was reported and vertical-digging and earth-moving machines along with rescue personnel were pressed into action.

40 people trapped, food and oxygen provided

Uttarkashi Circle Officer (CO) Prashant Kumar on Monday said that all 40 workers were known to be safe and oxygen and water had been provided to them.

Kumar told ANI, "The present situation is that yesterday we established communication with the people trapped inside the tunnel. We have moved around 15 metres inside the tunnel, and around 35 metres are still to be covered. Everyone is safe, we have provided oxygen and water to them. We are making our way sideways to go inside the tunnel. After establishing communication, around 40 people are trapped inside."

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Separately, another official told PTI that contact with the workers was established around 12:30 in the early hours of Monday. He said that two pipes have been connected to the workers and food items like dry fruits and other edibles have been shared through one and oxygen is being pumped through another.

Uttarakhand CM Dhami visited the incident site

Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami on Monday visited the Silkyara-Barkot tunnel site for a review of the rescue operations being carried out there to evacuate 40 labourers trapped inside since Sunday morning following its partial collapse.  

Dhami inspected the site here along with officials and discussed the strategy being followed for the safe rescue of the trapped workers. 

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He asked the officials and multiple agencies engaged in the rescue operations inside the under-construction tunnel to work with coordination and inform the administration immediately of their requirements in terms of resources. 

All resources and technical help will be provided to them as soon as possible, Dhami said. 

Dhami further said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has spoken to him and has assured all the required help.

What do we know of the rescue work?

About 160 personnel from the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), State Disaster Response Force (SDRF), Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), and the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) are engaged in the rescue work, according to PTI.

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While the workers are said to be safe, no breakthrough has yet been made in the rescue efforts.

Project Manager Rajesh Panwar told PTI, "We are removing the muck to measure how deep the point where they are trapped is. It does not seem too long. We hope to reach them soon. However, there are indications that they are safe as they appear to have released some water through an outlet."

National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited (NHIDCL) Director Anshu Manish Khalko said loose debris hampering the rescue efforts was being stabilised using 'shotcrete' technique, which involves spraying concrete, reported PTI. 

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Khalko said, "All the trapped labourers are safe. They have been contacted several times on walkie-talkie and edibles and drinking water have been supplied to them."

Earlier, it was reported that verticle-digging and earth-moving machines were also being used in the rescue work.

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