Amid ongoing rescue operations in the Silkyara tunnel, expert Chris Cooper provided updates on the progress. He mentioned that three meters of manual drilling had been completed, bringing the total drilling work to about 50 meters.
Cooper expressed optimism, stating, “We’ve crossed 50 meters. There’s now approximately five to six meters left to cover. We faced no obstacles last night, and the situation looks promising.”
To reach the trapped workers, about 57 meters of drilling is required from the tunnel’s mouth to install a pipe inside. Earlier attempts had covered around 47 meters using an auger machine, which was momentarily halted due to the machine getting stuck in debris. Subsequently, the obstruction was cleared using a plasma cutter.
The final phase of rescue involves twelve rat-hole mining experts engaged in manual drilling to excavate the remaining 10- to 12-meter section of debris in the collapsed portion of the tunnel on Uttarakhand’s Char Dham route.