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Uttarkashi Tunnel Collapse: Workers, Family Members Hold Protest, Heavy Equipment Airlifted From Delhi To Rescue Workers

Nearly 40 workers have been trapped behind debris for over 72 hours since a portion of an under-construction tunnel between Silkyara and Dandalgaon on the Brahmakhal-Yamunotri National Highway caved in on Sunday following a landslide.

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Rescue operation underway in a part of Uttarkashi's collapsed tunnel
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Workers, family members and others held a protest outside the under-construction tunnel at Silkyara on Wednesday over the delay in rescuing labourers trapped inside for the last three days.

The protestors vented their anger over the absence of an alternative plan when the machines deployed for drilling the rubble to prepare an escape passage for trapped labourers did not work on Tuesday evening. Workers chanted slogans at the mouth of the tunnel on the Brahmakhal-Yamunotri National Highway, protesting over the "slow" pace of the operation to rescue their colleagues trapped inside for over 72 hours now.           

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Falling debris from a fresh landslide on Tuesday hampered efforts to insert steel pipes through the collapsed part of the tunnel. 

According to officials, all workers are reported safe, and communication has been established. They are also being provided ration and other essentials through pipes.

Heavy drilling equipment airlifted from Delhi

A heavy drilling machine was airlifted from Delhi Wednesday to replace the "failed" equipment which was being used earlier to create a passage for 40 workers trapped in an under-construction tunnel that collapsed three days back, officials said.

The new machine, that landed at the Chinyalisaur helipad, over 30 kilometres from the tunnel on the Chardham route, is being put into service, amid apprehension by workers at the site on the progress of the multi-agency rescue operations.

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Uttarkashi tunnel collapse

Nearly 40 workers have been trapped behind debris for over 72 hours since a portion of an under-construction tunnel between Silkyara and Dandalgaon on the Brahmakhal-Yamunotri National Highway caved in on Sunday following a landslide.

According to a list of the trapped workers issued by the emergency operation centre, 15 are from Jharkhand, eight from Uttar Pradesh, five from Odisha, four from Bihar, three from West Bengal, two each from Uttarakhand and Assam, and one from Himachal Pradesh.

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