Uttarkashi Tunnel Collapse

On November 12, a section of the under-construction tunnel from Silkyara to Dandalgaon in Uttarakhand’s Uttarkashi collapsed, trapping approximately 36-40 laborers. The incident occurred as part of the Char Dham all-weather road project, aimed at reducing the journey between Uttarkashi and Yamunotri by 26 kilometers. Fortunately, no casualties have been reported thus far.

Ongoing Rescue Operation

Efforts to rescue the trapped individuals are currently underway, with the police force, National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), and State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) teams present at the site. As of now, all 40 workers are confirmed to be safe, receiving food and water supplies. However, authorities anticipate that the rescue operation may take up to two more days to complete.

Challenges Faced by Rescuers

The continuous falling of loose debris from above has posed challenges for the rescue teams. To stabilize the area, shotcreting is deemed necessary. The plan involves pushing a steel pipe with an 800 MM diameter through the debris by boring a hole, aiming to complete the rescue as soon as possible.

Communication with Trapped Workers

Initial communication with the trapped workers was established through wireless communication past midnight on Sunday. Rescuers have maintained contact with the laborers through a pipe intended for supplying food. The collapsed area spans 30 meters and is located 270 meters inside the tunnel from the Sikyara side.

Investigation Underway

A technical committee, led by the Uttarakhand Landslide Minimization and Management Centre, is investigating the circumstances leading to the tunnel’s partial collapse after a landslide. The trapped workers come from various states across India, including Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Orissa, Bihar, West Bengal, Uttarakhand, Assam, and Himachal Pradesh.



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