India tunnel collapse: Kin anxiously wait for return of workers as rescue operation reaches final stage

World Friday 24/November/2023 13:21 PM
India tunnel collapse: Kin anxiously wait for return of workers as rescue operation reaches final stage

Uttarkashi: As the Uttarkashi tunnel rescue operations reaches a critical stage on Friday, the kin of trapped labourers pray for the safe return of their loved ones.

A brother of a trapped labourer said that he wishes his brother to return as soon as possible. Speaking to ANI, Haridwar Sharma, brother of a stranded labourer Sushil Sharma said that "This morning we talked to him through walkie talkie. During the conversation, we inquired about his well-being and my brother was also asking about the other members of the family. Everything like food, drink, clothing is being available to them inside the tunnel. I just wish that he returns safely".

Brother of another stranded worker said that all his family members are anxiously waiting for him to come back.

"My brother Sonu Shah is stuck inside the tunnel for the last 12 days but his courage is high. Inside the tunnel he is getting everything like food, clothes, brush paste. I spoke to him this morning around 8:00 am. He also hopes that his rescue operation will happen soon. As family members, we are also very excited. When will we see them and every member of the family is waiting for his return", Sudhanshu Shah, brother of stranded soldier Sonu Shah told ANI.

The rescue operations entered a critical phase on Thursday, with officials saying that only a few metres were left to be drilled for the rescuers to reach the trapped workers.

However, due to another technical snag in the platform supporting the Auger drilling machine which was cutting through the debris, the rescue operations were briefly halted on Thursday.

The 25-tonne platform mounting the Heavy American Auger machine being used to drill through the debris has been strengthened using an accelerating agent for rapid hardening of concrete, and the rescue operations is expected to resume shortly.

The official bulletin said that a Modified communication system with wire connectivity has already been developed by State Disaster Response Force and through which clear communication is being made regularly. People inside have reported that they are safe.

Freshly cooked food and fresh fruits are being inserted inside the tunnel at regular intervals using 2nd lifeline service (150 mm diameter pipe).

On November 12, a portion of the under-construction tunnel from Silkyara to Barkot collapsed and debris falling in the 60-metre stretch on the Silkyara side of the tunnel trapped 41 labourers inside. The workers are trapped in a 2 km-built portion, which is complete, including concrete work that provides safety to the workers.