- Himalayan tunnel collapse
- 40 workers stranded
- Intense rescue efforts
Two days have passed, with rescuers working continuously to clear obstructions and create a pathway to reach those stranded.
A massive rescue operation is underway to extract forty construction workers stranded in a collapsed road tunnel in the Himalayas.
Due to a landslip, the three-mile tunnel under construction in the northern Indian state of Uttarakhand collapsed around 5:30 a.m. on Sunday.
Innovative Extraction Plan
Authorities plan to use a 0.76-meter-wide (2 feet 6 inches) steel conduit pushed through an opening in excavated debris using hydraulic jacks to safely extract the workers.
Debris has impeded operations, but they expect to liberate the workers by Tuesday evening or Wednesday.
“Food, water, and oxygen have been supplied to the stranded labourers, and officials have maintained constant communication with each of them,” said Devendra Singh Patwal, an official in charge of disaster management.
Geologists from academic institutions and the state administration have arrived to determine the cause of the accident.
Reports indicate there were approximately fifty to sixty workers inside the tunnel, with ten to twenty exiting, while the remainder were trapped after the collapse.
Rajeev Das, a worker who escaped unharmed, explained, “At first, we anticipated a minor collapse and promptly initiated the process of debris removal to the best of our abilities. However, we quickly realized that the search and rescue mission was difficult.”
As part of a high-profile federal initiative, the tunnel’s construction aims to link various Hindu pilgrimage locations.
The area, known for Hindu temples and an annual influx of pilgrims, is susceptible to natural disasters like landslides, earthquakes, and floods, attributed in part to rapid construction in the mountains.