Uttarakhand Tunnel Collapse Updates: Drilling Progress, Aids Provided, UK CM’s Visit & More

The manual drilling team is just meters away from the stranded 41 labourers who have been stuck in an Uttarakhand tunnel for 17 days

by Vaishalee Kalvankar
Uttarakhand Tunnel Collapse Updates: Drilling Progress, Aids Provided, UK CM’s Visit & More

Given that the manual drilling team is just meters away from the stranded 41 labourers who have been stuck in a tunnel in Uttarakhand for 17 days, their rescue is near completion. The operation is almost successful now, despite multiple setbacks due to the challenging terrain. On November 12, the tunnel collapsed, trapping 41 workers inside with no way out. Here are some important updates as the nation sits, crossing fingers, awaiting the operation to be successful. 

Uttarakhand Tunnel Collapse Updates

Lieutenant General Syed Ata Hasnain (Retd.), Member, NDMA, announced during the 4 pm media briefing that rat-hole mining professionals had physically drilled through the last two meters, or 58 meters, to date. 

After the first assessment at the site, ambulances are positioned at the tunnel entrance to quickly take the rescued workers to a community health facility about thirty kilometres away for additional testing.

After the auger drilling machines failed to drill the required 60 meters, the rescue teams have been using the rat-hole-mining approach to clear the last few meters of rubble. 

As rescue operations to free the 41 miners stranded inside the Silkyara tunnel approached their sixteenth day, rat-hole mining began on Monday night. To enter the tunnels and excavate by hand, at least six rat-hole miners were called from Delhi and Jhansi.

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Uttarakhand CM Visited The Site

On Tuesday, Uttarakhand’s chief minister, Pushkar Singh Dhami, visited the scene of the collapsed tunnel and assessed the progress being made in rescuing the 41 labourers who had been imprisoned there for sixteen days. 

Pushkar Singh Dhami, the Chief Minister of Uttarakhand, gave Prime Minister Narendra Modi an update over the phone earlier today on the continuing rescue and relief activities.

Official sources state that the 41 workers’ families have been urged to prepare and keep the workers’ clothing and luggage close at hand as the rescue operation is anticipated to come to a conclusion shortly. 

Garlands have been brought to the rescue site. The locals were seen praying at the site near a makeshift temple outside the tunnel.  (as per Zee News)

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Medical Services Ready At The Site

According to the sources, once the workers are rescued from the tunnel, they will be transported to Chinyalisaur Hospital.

Rishikesh AIIMS is ready to provide medical assistance. Within the hospital grounds, a 41-bed unit has been designated for this purpose. The hospital also has a specialized team that includes a trauma surgeon and cardiac and psychiatric physicians.

The National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences’ Dr. Dinakaran D. believes that the psychological fallout from the recent tunnel collapse may last for several months. The 41 Indian construction workers who were stranded in the collapsed highway tunnel for 17 days will need continuous support and monitoring for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after their rescue, officials said on Tuesday. 

Concerning the possibility of PTSD in these workers, Dr. Dinakaran pointed out that all 41 of them might have post-traumatic symptoms like anxiety, recurrent nightmares, insomnia, and flashbacks to the collapse of the tunnel.

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We hope and pray for the well-being of these workers and salute their bravery!

Cover Image Courtesy: Canva

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