Silkyara tunnel collapse: Trapped workers in good health, communicating with rescue teams

Uttarkashi (Uttarakhand) [India], November 21 (ANI): As the rescue operation in the ongoing Silkyara tunnel collapse entered Day 10, the first visuals of the trapped workers emerged on Tuesday morning. Rescue teams are involved in a relentless effort to establish contact with them. The endoscopic flexi camera has reached the trapped workers.

The trapped workers were smiling in the video and stable state of mind. The workers were provided with a walkie-talkie through a 6-inch pipeline so that they could communicate with the rescue team. The name of a trapped victim has been identified as Saba.

In the video, it was seen that the rescue team asked Saba to hold the walkie-talkie and identify the names of each trapped worker. The voice of the trapped worker was not clear but visuals showed that he was in good health condition.

Breakfast was also prepared for the workers trapped inside the tunnel. The food will be sent to the workers through a 6-inch pipeline.

The rescue team on Monday evening managed to lay a 6 inch pipe through which solid food and mobile chargers were sent inside the collapsed section of the Silkyara Tunnel. Communication was established with individual workers to get a health update from them.

For the first time since the incident, hot Khichdi was sent to the workers through this pipeline.

Another significant milestone was achieved as rescuers reached the tunnel with a vertical drilling machine from the upper part of the hill above the tunnel. This development comes as 41 labourers remain trapped inside the tunnel.

It took 13 hours and 3 vehicles to bring this machine, Harbanz, the driver who brought parts of the drilling machine, told ANI.

The collapse occurred on November 12 during the construction of a tunnel from Silkyara to Barkot, trapping 41 labourers due to a muck fall in a 60-metre stretch on the Silkyara side of the tunnel. The workers are believed to be trapped in a 2 km-built tunnel portion, which is complete with concrete work that provides safety to the workers. This portion of the tunnel has access to electricity and water.

Multiple agencies are working on the rescue efforts with the National Highway Infrastructure Development Corporation limited (NHIDCL) teams continuing the drilling effort from the mouth of the tunnel.

The Rail Vikas Nigam Limited (RVNL) is working on another vertical pipeline for the supply of essential items.

The Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam Limited (SJVNL) has brought a heavy drilling machine and is now at the tunnel site to being the vertical drilling operation. International Tunnelling Association President Arnold Dix is also at the operation site to aid in the rescue efforts.