Rescue operations are underway at an under-construction tunnel in Uttarakhand’s Uttarkashi district on Monday after it partially collapsed leaving 40 workers trapped inside.
The tunnel along Yamunotri National Highway had partially collapsed on Sunday morning.
Rescue operations are underway at the tunnel, which was being built to connect Silkyara and Dandalgaon in the district.
उत्तरकाशी के सिल्क्यारा के पास टनल निर्माण के समय हुई दुर्घटना में फँसे श्रमिकों के बचाव हेतु एसडीआरएफ़, एनडीआरएफ़ और प्रदेश प्रशासन की टीमें पूरी ताक़त से जुटी हुई हैं। स्वयं भी रेस्क्यू ऑपरेशन पर लगातार नज़र बनाए रखी है। pic.twitter.com/xWfNtOiYtS— Pushkar Singh Dhami (@pushkardhami) November 12, 2023
The IE report quoting officials said the workers are safe, have access to oxygen cylinders, and are being supplied with additional oxygen through a pipe.
The report quoting officials, however said that there has been no communication with the trapped workers.
It said the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) and the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), along with police and local administration personnel, are carrying out the rescue operations.
“The rescue operation involved two JCBs and a Poclain machine being used to remove debris inside the 13-metre-wide tunnel. An escape passage is being created to reach the trapped workers,” it mentioned.
It added: “A compressor drill machine has been sent from Chinyalisaur, and another mechanical drill machine will reach the spot by Monday morning.”
The Chinyalisaur helipad has also been activated for relief operations. In addition to this, a health team and four ambulances have been deployed, it said.
Satellite phone and lighting systems have also been sent to the spot, and two additional JCB machines have been sent from the PWD, the report quoting officials said.
According to preliminary information, the landslide that led to the collapse occurred at a distance of 200 metres from the entrance of the tunnel, the report said.
It added at the time, the workers were 2,500 metres inside the tunnel.
Earlier, the officials had said 36 workers were trapped, but later revised the figure up to 40.
Only one of the 40 was from Uttarakhand, with all the others having come from Bihar, West Bengal, UP, Jharkhand, Odisha, Assam, and Himachal Pradesh.
Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami said in a post on X that he was monitoring the rescue operation. “After talking to the District Magistrate on this matter, instructions have been given to speed up the rescue mission. I myself am monitoring the rescue operation. I pray to God for the safe exit of all the employees trapped in the tunnel.”