12 Nov 2023

Uttarakhand: Under-construction tunnel collapses in Uttarkashi, 36 laborers trapped; oxygen supply through pipes


An under-construction tunnel collapsed in Uttarkashi, Uttarakhand on Sunday. About 36 laborers are trapped in the tunnel. Rescue operation has been started to save them. At present oxygen is being sent inside the tunnel. The accident happened at 4 in the morning.

This tunnel is being built between Silkyara and Dandalgaon on Brahmakamal and Yamunotri National Highway. Its length is 4 and a half kilometers and width is 14 meters.  The tunnel is a crucial component of the Char Dham all-weather road project, and its completion will shorten the journey between Uttarkashi and Yamunotri by 26 kilometers.

Uttarkashi SP Arpan Yaduvanshi said that a 50 meter portion of the tunnel has sunk. Most of the workers trapped in this are from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.

The part where the tunnel caved in is about 200 meters inside the starting point of the tunnel. About 156 people from NDRF, SDRF, Fire Brigade, National Highway are engaged for rescue.

Vertical drilling machines are being pressed into service to clear the debris, and oxygen pipes have been sent inside. According to the latest assessment by officials, it is anticipated that evacuating the workers might take 2-3 days.

We aim to rescue all workers safely: SP

Uttarkashi SP Arpan Yaduvanshi stated, "In the Silkyara Tunnel, a section has collapsed about 200 meters from the starting point. According to HIDCL officials overseeing the tunnel construction, approximately 36 people are trapped inside, and efforts are underway to rescue them safely. The police force, NDRF, and SDRF teams are present at the site. No casualties have been reported so far. We aim to rescue all workers safely soon."

Uttarakhand CM Pushkar Singh Dhami mentioned that he is in contact with officials regarding the incident and expressed prayers for the safety of those trapped.

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