A critical situation unfolds in Uttarkashi, Uttarakhand, where approximately 40 workers remain trapped beneath the debris of a collapsed under-construction tunnel on the Brahmakhal-Yamunotri National Highway. The incident, triggered by a landslide, occurred over 72 hours ago, and rescue efforts face challenges due to additional rubble falling on the site, injuring two rescue workers.
Obstacles and Ongoing Rescue Operations:
The collapsed tunnel section, spanning over 50 meters, poses a significant hurdle for rescue operations. JCB machines, power generators, and construction materials obstruct access to the trapped laborers. To address this, three special aircraft carrying 25-ton machines are expected to arrive by Wednesday evening. These machines aim to break through the debris and facilitate the transport of a steel pipe for the rescue operation.
Complicating matters, some machinery reportedly broke while encountering boulders. However, rescue teams plan to insert an 800mm steel pipe along the debris, covering a distance of 50 meters. This strategic move is designed to create a pathway for rescuers to reach the trapped laborers. Earlier attempts involved inserting a pipe through the tunnel rubble to prepare an escape passage.
Health and Communication Measures:
Despite the adversity, rescue teams reassure that the tunnel’s approximately two-kilometer length minimizes the risk of claustrophobia. The trapped workers are provided with essential supplies, including oxygen, food, water, and medicines. Authorities maintain constant communication with the trapped individuals using wireless radios.
Collaborative Efforts and Expert Assistance:
Efforts to coordinate with specialists from Delhi Metro and Indian Railways are underway to gather insights and suggestions for the swiftest and safest evacuation of the stranded workers. The collaboration aims to leverage expertise and resources from various sectors to expedite the rescue mission.
The situation remains critical as the clock ticks, underscoring the urgency of the collaborative rescue efforts to extract the trapped workers from the depths of the collapsed tunnel.