Uttarakhand tunnel rescue: Operation in final stage, NDRF, ambulances at spot

With only 12 meter of drilling left to reach the trapped workers, the rescue operation is likely to completed soon.

Statesman News Service

Statesman News Service

The Statesman


A scene from the Uttarakhand tunnel rescue operation. PHOTO: ANI/THE STATESMAN

November 23, 2023

NEW DELHI – The Uttarakhand tunnel rescue operation has entered it’s final stage and only 12-meter drilling is left to reach the 41 construction workers who are trapped under the debris since November 12.

“The Silkyara rescue operation is now in the final stages. NDRF team is deployed to rescue the workers. An ambulance is deployed inside the tunnel and a team of doctors is deployed in the CHC located at Chinyalisaur for health check-ups of the workers. Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami himself is also present in Uttarkashi,” CM Office Uttarakhand said.

The rescue teams are likely to complete the drilling by 11:30-12:00 pm today and “big news” is expected soon after.

“… I am happy to announce that we have been able to move forward by another 6 meters and it is expected that in the next 2 hours when we prepare for the next phase, we will be able to achieve remaining work…,” Former advisor to the Prime Minister’s Office, Bhaskar Khulbe, who is looking after the entire rescue operation, said.

Earlier today, teams of National Disaster Relief Force (NDRF) also reached the spot to help in evacuation of the trapped workers. They carried oxygen cylinders likely to given to trapped workers they are extracted.

Around 30 ambulances have also been deployed near the spot to transport the trapped workers to hospital when they come out.

“30 ambulances are present at the spot. We have been directed to be on alert as the rescue could be completed by the night. All necessary items including medicines are available in the ambulances…,” news agency ANI quoted an ambulance staff as saying.

Meanwhile, a 41-bed hospital has been set up at Community Health Centre in Chinyalisaur for medical examination and care of trapped workers after they are evacuated from Silkyara tunnel in Uttarkashi.

The workers are trapped in a 400-meter buffer zone of the unfinished Silkyara tunnel in Uttarakhand’s Uttarkashi since November 12 when a portion of it collapsed following a landslide.

The tunnel project is part of the Chardham all-weather road.

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