Visuals of Uttarkashi workers out; rescue team to focus on ‘horizontal drilling’

Visuals of Uttarkashi workers out; rescue team to focus on ‘horizontal drilling’

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  • November 21, 2023
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In the video, the workers were seen to be physically and mentally stable. Officials who addressed the press sounded confident of their well-being, noting that there was sufficient oxygen and light inside the tunnel, and eatables including dry fruits were being sent inside through a 4-inch pipeline.

The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), while sharing details about the progress made towards reaching the trapped workers, said the focus would be on “horizontal digging” instead of finding a route through vertical digging.

Also Read: Uttarkashi tunnel collapse: Govt says ‘might reach trapped workers in two and a half days if…’

Here are the 10 major updates related to the rescue operation.

– The visuals, showing the trapped workers, were captured using an endoscopic camera sent in through a six-inch pipeline, which was pushed on November 20 through the rubble of the collapsed portion of tunnel on Uttarakhand’s Char Dham route.

– In a video released by the rescue agencies, the workers wearing yellow and white helmets, are seen receiving food items sent to them through the pipeline and talking to each other.

– Officials watching them on a screen were heard giving instructions, asking them to clean the lens and show themselves on camera. They are heard asking them to come near the mouth of the pipeline and use the walkie-talkies, apparently sent down earlier.

Track latest updates on Uttarkashi tunnel rescue operation

– Relatives have talked earlier to the trapped workers through the four-inch compressor tube that already existed. Food items like dry fruit were also being sent through that pipe.

– But the new wider ‘lifeline’, which pierced through 53 metres of rubble, has come as a boost to the morale of the rescue workers. Communication is much better and larger quantities of food can now be sent in.

– Briefing reporters on the rescue efforts, National Disaster Management Authority member Lt General (Retd) Syed Atta Hasnain said that simultaneous efforts are being made on five fronts to save these trapped workers. He further said that the ‘focus is on horizontal drilling’ as rock formation has created challenges for vertical drilling.

Also Read: Should govt ask for Elon Musk’s Boring Company’s help to rescue 41 workers stuck in the Uttarkashi tunnel?

– Anurag Jain, Secretary of the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, said that under the current circumstances ‘vertical drilling is the second best option’.

– Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami for the second day in a row, to enquire about the progress of the rescue effort.

– On social media, Dhami said he informed the PM about communicating with the workers using the endoscopic camera. “The prime minister said it is our top priority to rescue all the workers safely,” the CM posted.

– Notably, Dhami also indicated that a probe would be conducted into the incident after the workers are rescued. “Action will definitely be taken against all suspicions but right now the priority is for all workers to come out safely,” he said.

Notably, the tunnel collapsed following a landslide early on November 12, leaving 41 workers trapped behind a huge mound of debris.

(With PTI inputs)

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Updated: 21 Nov 2023, 07:08 PM IST

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