Dehradun: Dozens of workers have been trapped in a Uttarakhand tunnel for nearly 150 hours with a giant drill being deployed to save them. The rescue operations came to a halt yesterday evening after hearing a sudden “cracking sound” and the drilling machine developed a snag.
Officials have said that a second heavy drill is to be airlifted to the accident site and operations are expected to resume by 10 am.
The 40 workers have been stuck since Sunday morning after a portion of the tunnel caved in. Officials said that all workers are safe and are being supplied food and water through steel pipes that have been drilled into the opening.
Families of the trapped workers have arrived at the accident site and are losing hope. Brother of one of the workers said that the workers need to be rescued quickly before their health deteriorates.
Doctors have also emphasised the need for comprehensive rehabilitation for the trapped workers, fearing that the prolonged confinement may necessitate both mental and physical recovery processes.
On November 12, a portion of the under-construction Silkyara Tunnel collapsed, trapping 40 construction workers within the debris. Efforts to reach them were slowed by falling debris during drilling as rescuers try to create a space to push through pipes for the men to crawl to safety.
The drilling operations came to a halt on Friday evening after a “large-scale cracking sound” was heard.
The Air Force has flown a second machine from Indore on a C-130 Hercules military plane and operations are expected to resume soon.