In a race against time, dozens of workers remain trapped in a tunnel in Uttarakhand, their lives hanging in the balance as rescue operations face unexpected challenges.
The harrowing situation unfolded when a portion of the under-construction Silkyara Tunnel collapsed on November 12, ensnaring 40 construction workers within the debris.
The initial rescue efforts, employing a giant drill, came to a sudden halt due to a disconcerting “cracking sound,” prompting concerns about the safety of the operation.
The drilling machine encountered a snag, necessitating a pause in the rescue mission. Undeterred, officials have announced the deployment of a second heavy drill, slated to arrive at the accident site by 10 am, signaling a renewed push to extricate the trapped workers.
#WATCH | Uttarakhand: Uttarkashi tunnel rescue | Morning visuals from the spot; relief and rescue work halted at Silkyara Tunnel
Speaking to ANI Anshu Manish Khulko, Director of the tunnel-making company NHIDCL, said that at present the drilling work in the tunnel has stopped.… pic.twitter.com/ZhNAsdAtRX
— ANI (@ANI) November 18, 2023
Families of the affected workers, who have gathered at the accident site, are grappling with dwindling hope as the hours pass.
A poignant plea from the brother of one of the trapped workers underscores the urgency of the situation, emphasizing the need for swift rescue efforts before the health of the workers deteriorates further.
Despite the challenges, officials reassure that all trapped workers are safe, receiving essential supplies of food and water through steel pipes drilled into the tunnel opening.
However, the prolonged confinement raises concerns among medical professionals regarding the workers’ mental and physical well-being.
Doctors on the scene stress the imperative for comprehensive rehabilitation once the workers are rescued, recognizing the potential toll on both their mental and physical health due to the extended period of confinement.
The unfolding drama in Uttarakhand highlights the complexity and urgency of the rescue mission as rescuers contend with falling debris and the formidable task of creating a passage for the workers’ safe evacuation.
As the nation watches with bated breath, the Air Force has mobilized a second drilling machine, flown in from Indore on a C-130 Hercules military plane, underscoring the collaborative efforts to overcome challenges and expedite the rescue mission.
The clock is ticking, and the second phase of drilling operations is poised to commence, reigniting hopes for a successful and timely rescue of the trapped workers in Uttarakhand.