Uttarkashi tunnel collapse: Rat Hole Miners Efforts To Rescue Workers

Uttarkashi Tunnel Collapse
Uttarkashi Tunnel Collapse

Forty-one workers were trapped inside the tunnel under construction at Silkyara in Uttarkashi district of Uttarakhand state. There is a massive rescue operation underway.

The rescue operation takes more than two weeks. A series of problems with the American "auger" drilling machine and the debris interruption continued to set back the drilling operation, so there was still a huge delay in the rescue.

Actions were taken to cut out the blades of the Auger machine stuck in the rubble. As an alternative, vertical drilling from the top of the tunnel started yesterday.

Lt Gen Harpal Singh, the former chief engineer of the army, said that while a total distance of 86 meters has to be drilled, 31 meters have been drilled till yesterday. He said that 1.2-meter diameter pipes will be laid through which the workers will be rescued.

Meanwhile, the work of drilling by men inside the tunnel also started. Six experienced miners called "Rat-Hole Miners" came to the cave for that. They found 800 mm inside the ruins. They go into the diameter pipe and use a spade to remove the debris. Three people each will be involved in this work.

Officials said it was the only viable option, with only 10 to 12 meters of drilling, although clearing the rubble would be time-consuming. At this stage, the rat hole miners are working in full swing and have dug a hole to a depth of about 7 meters. As a result, only a 5-meter distance has to be drilled. Thus, it is expected that the workers will be rescued soon.