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Uttarkashi Rescue Operation: NDRF Demonstrates Drill To Evacuate Trapped Workers

By FnF Correspondent | PUBLISHED: 24, Nov 2023, 18:47 pm IST | UPDATED: 24, Nov 2023, 18:47 pm IST

Uttarkashi Rescue Operation: NDRF Demonstrates Drill To Evacuate Trapped Workers New Delhi: A demonstration of how to bring out the 41 workers stuck in a part of the Silkyara tunnel in Uttarkashi was conducted by the NDRF personnel on Friday. The workers have been trapped for 12 days since November 12, when a section of the tunnel under construction on the Char Dham route caved in and blocked the exit. The rescue operation is said to be in its final stages. The NDRF personnel, who entered the pipeline for the demo, said they had no trouble breathing and moving inside.

Bhaskar Khulbe, a former PMO advisor, said a 2-metre piece of the pipe had to be removed as it got squeezed due to friction during drilling. This happened after the auger heavy-duty driller hit an obstacle and applied more pressure on Thursday, he said.

Khulbe also said that the platform where the Augur drilling machine was placed developed some cracks on Thursday, but they have been fixed. The 25-tonne platform, which supports the heavy American Auger machine, has been reinforced with a fast-setting concrete agent, and the rescue operation is expected to resume soon, he said. The platform cracked while the horizontal drilling through the debris was going on Thursday and the process had to be stopped.

“Last night, we had to repair the platform where the machine is mounted. However, Parsons Company used a ground penetration radar, which showed us that there is no metal obstruction for the next 5 metres (inside the tunnel). This means that our drilling, once it resumes, should be smooth. When we were clearing the debris, we found two twisted pipes,” Khulbe said, hoping that the trapped workers will be rescued by Friday.

The workers are trapped in a 2 km-built portion, which is complete, including concrete work that provides them safety, after a part of the tunnel from Silkyara to Barkot collapsed on November 12, causing the debris to fall in the 60-metre stretch on the Silkyara side of the tunnel.

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