Fri, 01 Dec 2023

Uttarkashi (Uttarakhand) [India], November 21 (ANI): In a major breakthrough in the ongoing Silkyara tunnel collapse rescue team officials have successfully developed communication with the trapped worked through the 6-inch pipeline on Tuesday morning.

The rescue team was seen clearly talking to the workers trapped in the tunnel through the pipeline. The rescue team requested the workers to come in front of the endoscopic flexi camera which was inserted through the pipeline. A worker took out the camera from the pipeline and held it inside the confined space so that everyone could be identified.

All the 41 trapped workers assembled near the camera and the rescue team asked them to clean the screen of the camera. The rescue team informed them that the pipeline would be cleaned with water and a blower so they asked them to keep back the camera and get away from the pipeline and the compressor.

The rescue teams also informed that food would be provided again once the pipeline is cleaned.

The trapped workers were smiling in the video and stable state of mind. The workers were provided with a walkie-talkie through a 6-inch pipeline so that they could communicate with the rescue team.

Earlier, breakfast was also prepared for the workers trapped inside the tunnel. The food will be sent to the workers through a 6-inch pipeline.

The rescue team on Monday evening managed to lay a 6-inch pipe through which solid food and mobile chargers were sent inside the collapsed section of the Silkyara Tunnel. Communication was established with individual workers to get a health update from them.

For the first time since the incident, hot Khichdi was sent to the workers through this pipeline. Another significant milestone was achieved as rescuers reached the tunnel with a vertical drilling machine from the upper part of the hill above the tunnel. This development comes as 41 labourers remain trapped inside the tunnel.

It took 13 hours and 3 vehicles to bring this machine, Harbanz, the driver who brought parts of the drilling machine, told ANI.

The collapse occurred on November 12 during the construction of a tunnel from Silkyara to Barkot, trapping 41 labourers due to a muck fall in a 60-metre stretch on the Silkyara side of the tunnel. The workers are believed to be trapped in a 2 km-built tunnel portion, which is complete with concrete work that provides safety to the workers. This portion of the tunnel has access to electricity and water.

Multiple agencies are working on the rescue efforts with the National Highway Infrastructure Development Corporation limited (NHIDCL) teams continuing the drilling effort from the mouth of the tunnel. The Rail Vikas Nigam Limited (RVNL) is working on another vertical pipeline for the supply of essential items.

The Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam Limited (SJVNL) has brought a heavy drilling machine and is now at the tunnel site to being the vertical drilling operation. International Tunnelling Association President Arnold Dix is also at the operation site to aid in the rescue efforts. (ANI)

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