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Operation to rescue trapped labourers continues in Uttarkashi

The workers are trapped in the tunnel from Sunday morning

Thursday, 16 November 2023  | PNS | DEHRADUN

Three C1-30 of the Indian Air Force (IAF) airlifted the heavy drill machine and other equipment to the Chinyalisaur airstrip on Wednesday afternoon as the authorities intensified the operation to rescue 40 stranded labourers in Silkyara of Uttarkashi.

 The rescue team planning to insert a 900 mm diameter steel pipe into the debris to rescue the workers is now expected to get the help of the 25 tonne heavy auger drill machine to speed up the task. The equipment is expected to reach the accident site on Wednesday night.

 The director of the National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited (NHIDCL) Anshu Manish Khalkho told media-persons at the accident site that the state of the art modern machine will speed up the task of drilling. He said that the pipe has already been inserted into the debris. The officer supervising the operation said that once installed the heavy  drill machine will be able to drill at a rate of four to five meter in  an hour. He expressed hope that the machine will be able to push the steel pipe (which is broad enough for the workers to come out) in ten to twelve hours. Khalkho however added no timeline can be given for the operation. He said that the rescuers are in contact with the trapped labourers by two pipes through which food and oxygen is being infused. The officer said that the rescue team is working round the clock to save the precious lives.

 On Sunday November 12, debris trapped 40 labourers in the under construction 4531 meter long tunnel in Silkyara between Dharasu and Badkot on Yamunotri national highway.

Meanwhile the rescue team which saved lives of boys of a local football team in Chiyang Rai province of Thailand in July 2018 has been contacted by the authorities involved in the mission to save the lives of 40 labourers trapped in an under construction tunnel in Silkyara in Uttarkashi district. Apart from this a Norwegian agency which has expertise in such operations has also been contacted.

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