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Enhanced Efforts to Rescue Trapped Workers in Indian Tunnel Collapse

by Chloe Baker
3 comments
Tunnel Rescue India

In a bid to rescue 40 laborers trapped for six days in a collapsed road tunnel in northern India, a new phase of the rescue operation commenced on Friday. The focus is on deepening the borehole in the tunnel debris to install a series of large pipes, creating a passage for the trapped workers to escape.

The operation, utilizing a newly acquired drilling machine since Thursday, has successfully penetrated 24 meters (78 feet) of the debris, informed Devendra Patwal, an official of disaster management. To facilitate the escape of the workers, the drilling needs to extend up to 60 meters (195 feet), Patwal elaborated in an interview with The Big Big News.

The goal is to finish drilling by Friday night, followed by the assembly of an escape conduit made of welded pipes, as per Patwal’s statement.

Health concerns have emerged for the workers, some of whom exhibited fever and body aches on Wednesday. Despite these symptoms, there hasn’t been any further deterioration in their health. Essential supplies like nuts, roasted chickpeas, popcorn, and medicine are being regularly delivered to them every two hours through a conduit.

The crisis began on Sunday when a landslide triggered the collapse of a section of a 4.5-kilometer (2.7-mile) tunnel, trapping the workers approximately 200 meters (656 feet) from the entrance. The area, known for its susceptibility to landslides and subsidence, is in Uttarakhand, a state characterized by its mountainous terrain and numerous Hindu temples, attracting both pilgrims and tourists. This has necessitated ongoing highway and construction projects, including the Chardham all-weather road, a significant federal initiative connecting various Hindu pilgrimage sites, of which the tunnel is a part.

Around 200 disaster relief personnel are on-site, employing drilling and excavation equipment in the rescue effort. The plan involves inserting 80-centimeter-wide (2.6-foot-wide) steel pipes through a cleared opening in the debris.

Earlier attempts in the week with a different machine proved slow in advancing the pipes through the rubble, as per a statement from the state government.

The newly deployed American Auger machine boasts a drilling rate of up to 5 meters (16 feet) per hour and features a 990 centimeters (32.4 feet) diameter pipe for debris removal. However, the machine’s progress is occasionally hindered by the accumulated rubble.

In an attempt to enhance rescue efforts, state officials have sought expertise from Thai specialists who were instrumental in the 2018 Thai cave rescue of a youth soccer team. Additionally, they have reached out to the Norwegian Geotechnical Institute for potential assistance, stated Gaurav Singh, a state government administrator.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Tunnel Rescue India

What happened in the tunnel collapse in India?

A landslide caused a section of a 4.5-kilometer tunnel to collapse in Uttarakhand, India, trapping 40 construction workers approximately 200 meters from the entrance.

How are the trapped workers being rescued?

Rescuers are drilling into the rubble to install a series of large pipes, creating a passage for the workers to escape. They are using a new drilling machine that can bore up to 5 meters per hour.

What is the condition of the trapped workers?

Some of the workers experienced fever and body aches, but there has been no significant deterioration in their health. They are receiving essential supplies like food and medicine every two hours.

What is the goal of the current rescue operation?

The goal is to drill up to 60 meters into the debris and create an escape tunnel using welded pipes. The operation aims to finish drilling by Friday night.

Has there been any international assistance in the rescue operation?

Yes, state officials have contacted Thai experts involved in the 2018 Thai cave rescue and have approached the Norwegian Geotechnical Institute for assistance.

More about Tunnel Rescue India

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3 comments

CuriousGeorge November 17, 2023 - 5:34 pm

why tunnel collapse? scary stuff, hope they get help from experts!

Reply
InfoSeeker99 November 17, 2023 - 9:33 pm

drilling machine works fast, good news for workers, lets hope they out soon!

Reply
GrammarNerd November 18, 2023 - 6:47 am

Grammar in this text needs improvement, but important news nonetheless!

Reply

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