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Silkyara tunnel collapse: Indian Army steps inside tunnel for rescue ops

This obstacle emerged on Friday, halting progress and prompting the initiation of a manual drilling phase spanning around 10 meters. Families of the trapped workers have voiced concerns about the rescue's pace and their emotional state, noting rising frustration and impatience among them.

Silkyara tunnel collapse: Indian Army steps inside tunnel for rescue ops AJR
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First Published Nov 26, 2023, 12:33 PM IST

Amid ongoing efforts to rescue 41 workers from the Uttarkashi tunnel collapse, the Indian Army is now set to join after a grueling 15-day endeavor. Their primary focus is on delicately removing the obstructive auger pieces to clear the path. Though manual drilling is slower, it poses fewer risks and is estimated to take 18-24 hours to finish. Experts note that only 10-12 meters of drilling is left, with no known metallic obstructions impeding progress.

Critical to the operation is penetrating the last 10% of the tunnel rubble to install a steel pipe, essential for safely evacuating the trapped workers, who will be transported on stretchers through this passage. The recent setback occurred during drilling in the Silkyara tunnel when the auger machine encountered a metal grinder, irreparably damaging it.

Silkyara tunnel collapse: 41 trapped men await rescue as manual drilling becomes vital

This obstacle emerged on Friday, halting progress and prompting the initiation of a manual drilling phase spanning around 10 meters. Families of the trapped workers have voiced concerns about the rescue's pace and their emotional state, noting rising frustration and impatience among them.

The rescue operation began on November 12 after a landslide caused the tunnel collapse on Uttarakhand's Char Dham route, leaving the workers stranded without an exit.

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