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Uttarkashi tunnel collapse: Vertical drilling underway to rescue trapped workers

On Sunday afternoon, vertical drilling, one of the several planned methods to free the 41 laborers imprisoned in Uttarkashi’s Silkyara tunnel since November 12, finally began. A section of the high-altitude, under-construction tunnel caved in on November 12, but two locations were selected for the vertical drilling. Both are on the Silkyara side. The 15th […]

Vertical drilling underway to rescue workers
Vertical drilling underway to rescue workers

On Sunday afternoon, vertical drilling, one of the several planned methods to free the 41 laborers imprisoned in Uttarkashi’s Silkyara tunnel since November 12, finally began. A section of the high-altitude, under-construction tunnel caved in on November 12, but two locations were selected for the vertical drilling. Both are on the Silkyara side. The 15th day of ongoing rescue operations has seen the start of vertical drilling work on the top of the tunnel atop the hill by SJVN, a public sector undertaking company engaged in the generation and transmission of hydroelectric power.

As a second option, vertical drilling work has also been started in another part on top of the tunnel to create rescue space for workers trapped. This portion of the tunnel has access to electricity and water.

The rescue operations are being handled by several agencies. The Indian Air Force recently participated as well, flying vital DRDO equipment to Dehradun. The endoscopy camera was successfully inserted into the tunnel by the rescuers on Tuesday. The initial images obtained by that apparatus demonstrated that the confined laborers had sufficient room within the tunnel to maneuver.

The visuals gave new hope to worried relatives, some of whom were camping outside the site of the collapsed tunnel structure.
Meanwhile, International tunnelling expert Arnold Dix who has roped in the rescue project said on Sunday that there was no chance of a collapse in the area where the incident happened suggesting to investigation into the matter.

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DRDOIndian Air ForceSJVNUttarkashi tunnel collapse