28 Nov 2023

Uttarakhand Tunnel Rescue: Drilling could conclude within 24 hours, say rat-hole workers

Uttarakhand Tunnel Rescue: Workers engaged in rat-hole mining within the Silkyara tunnel to rescue 41 trapped laborers expressed confidence that the drilling operation would conclude within 24 hours, allowing for the swift extraction of the trapped laborers. This assurance came on the 17th day of rescue efforts as of Tuesday.

Naseem, one of the workers said that they have already done 5 metres of manual drilling work so far, and 51 metres have been completed in totality.

"We've completed 51 meters of drilling. We've manually drilled 5 meters inside. Progressing through the 800 mm pipe, we have around 6 meters of drilling left. It won't take much longer; we anticipate completing it within 24 hours and bringing our colleagues out soon," Naseem stated.

He went on to mention that drilling 1 meter typically takes 1-2 hours, and while unforeseen obstacles might extend the timeframe, the overall progress has been satisfactory.

Another team member highlighted that the government had equipped them with all necessary safety gear, emphasizing that the work was advancing at a commendable pace.

"We operate as a team of 12 specialists, with two workers entering the tunnel at a time. Negotiating the 800 mm pipe presents challenges, but we are striving to expedite the process," the worker added.

Rat-hole miners are diligently conducting manual drilling, a task initiated since Monday night. The debris generated is manually extracted using ropes from the rescue pipe.

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