Uttarakhand Tunnel Operation: How 41 Trapped Workers Rescued?Sophia Loren (Author) Published Date : Nov 29, 2023 10:12 IST
Forty-one workers trapped in Uttarakhand mines were rescued yesterday after 17 long days. Their families and relatives thanked the rescuers who gave their full effort and strength during this rescue operation.
The construction of a 4.5 km tunnel under the Char Dham Yatra Highway project in Silkyara, Uttarakhand, Uttarakhand, has been ongoing for the past five years. On the 12th, during this work, a part of the mine suddenly collapsed.
Forty-one workers were trapped inside the mine. Construction debris fell about 60 meters into the mine. Various government department experts and officials, including ONGC disaster recovery forces, were involved in removing these and rescuing the workers.
Initially, a 6-inch pipe was inserted through the rubble to provide food and medicine to the workers. Through this, measures were taken to keep the workers healthy in the mines. Subsequently, an attempt was made to rescue the labourers by using a heavy auger machine to drill a horizontal distance of 57 meters into the mine rubble and insert an 800 mm wide steel pipe.
After drilling to a distance of 46.8 meters, the blade of the auger machine broke and got stuck in the rubble. This stopped the drilling with the machine, and the broken blade was removed. Officials decided to drill the rest of the area with hand tools using the 'Rat Miners' mining technique.
According to this, 12 Rat Mine technical experts were summoned, and the work started the day before yesterday. At the same time, as an alternative arrangement, vertical drilling for a distance of 80 meters in the upper part of the mine was also underway.
In this case, yesterday, on the 17th day of the rescue operation, drilling the rat hole was a huge success. Within 24 hours, a 12-meter hole was drilled into the rubble. With 58 meters drilled, reports spread that the drilling work was completed at 1.30 pm and the workers would be rescued soon. This stopped vertical drilling.
But National Disaster Management Authority member Lieutenant General Lt Gen Syed Ata Hasnain (Retd), who gave an interview at 4 pm, officially announced that they needed to drill a further 2 meters. The work was completed at 7.45 pm. Following this, national and state disaster rescue teams entered through an 800 mm wide iron pipe and rescued the workers.
As individual workers, they were brought back from within. The first worker was brought out at 8 pm. In this case, praises are pouring in for the rescue team who worked tirelessly to rescue those trapped inside the mine.