Option of manual drilling being considered at Uttarkashi tunnel, ‘no timeline yet’

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Rescuers are contemplating a shift to manual drilling at the Silkyara tunnel, where 41 laborers have remained trapped for the past 13 days due to repeated obstacles encountered by the auger machine, as stated by officials on Saturday.

The drilling operation aimed at rescuing the trapped individuals in the collapsed section of the tunnel faced another setback on Friday night, ceasing due to ongoing challenges in the multi-agency rescue endeavor.

An official revealed that the auger drilling machine encountered an obstruction, seemingly a metallic object, shortly after resuming drilling on Friday. This occurred after officials had suspended the operation the previous day due to technical issues.

The ongoing impediments preventing the auger machine from progressing further and installing steel pipes amidst the debris to create an escape pathway for the trapped workers have led authorities to consider the possibility of resorting to manual drilling.

However, the official highlighted that manual drilling would consume a longer duration.

The collaborative rescue operation, initiated on November 12 following a landslide that caused a section of the tunnel under construction on Uttarakhand’s Char Dham route to collapse, resulted in workers being trapped inside.

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