Medicines, food, water, electricity and oxygen were supplied in the trapped portion through pipes.
Around 40 workers are trapped inside an under-construction tunnel for over 24 hours in Uttarakhand's Uttarkashi. Secretary Disaster Management Ranjit Kumar Sinha who visited the tunnel said it may take two more days to rescue the trapped workers.
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An escape passage has been created to reach the trapped workers and the distance is about 60 metres. Officials said around 20 metres of slab blocking the tunnel has been removed and a 35 metres passage is yet to be cleared.
Yesterday, around 40 workers were deployed for reprofiling, the process of modifying or adjusting the shape of a structure approximately 265 meters inside the tunnel. A portion of the tunnel, almost 50 to 55 metres away from them, collapsed, trapping them inside.
The rescue work started immediately after the incident was reported. One of the priorities for the rescue teams was to ensure the supply of food and oxygen to the trapped workers.
Essentials like medicines, food, water, electricity and oxygen were supplied in the trapped portion through pipes. The rescue teams successfully established communication with the workers with Walkie-Talkies.
According to preliminary reports, a landslide in the region triggered a collapse. Chief Minister of Uttarakhand Pushkar Singh Dhami said loose soil is causing the debris to fall, because of which there's a delay in rescue operations.
The loose debris, which is delaying the rescue operations, is being stabilised and excavation with shotcreting for 40 meters of the collapsed tunnel has started.
Shotcreting is a term for spraying concrete at high velocity over a structure. The rescue teams have taken two important steps to evacuate the workers.
Loose dirt is being removed along with shotcreting-21 meters of debris. A minor fall of the debris has reduced the excavation to 14 metres.
The rescue teams are planning to push a pipe with a 900 mm diameter using a hydraulic jack by boring a hole into the heap of debris to evacuate the trapped workers. All the material and machinery needed for the daring operation is being mobilised. Experts from the irrigation department have also joined the operation.
The 4.5 km-long tunnel connects Silkyara to the Gangotri-Yamnotri axis and is a part of the Centre's Chardham Mahamarg Pariyojana. The workers are stuck in a 400-metre buffer zone in the tunnel and are reportedly safe.