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Uttarkashi Tunnel Collapse: Workers To Be Rescued By This Evening, Asserts ONGC Director

04:26 PM Nov 24, 2023 IST | NEWS Desk
uttarkashi tunnel collapse  workers to be rescued by this evening  asserts ongc director
Uttarkashi Tunnel Collapse: Workers To Be Rescued By This Evening, Asserts ONGC Director

Uttarkashi (Uttarakhand) [India]: As the ongoing operation to rescue 41 workers trapped in a collapsed portion of the Uttarkashi tunnel entered the 13th day, the director ONGC (Oil and Natural Gas Corporation), who is present at the site, asserted the labourers will be rescued by Friday.

Speaking to media persons, ONGC director Sanjay Bhatt said, ‘ We are hopeful that the rescue operation will be concluded and the workers brought out safely by today. As of now, there is no major hindrance to the operation and everyone is hopeful that the workers will be rescued by this evening.’

Meanwhile, ambulances remained on standby and emergency medical aid was made ready and available at the other of the tunnel so that the workers could be provided with immediate assistance once they are brought out safely.

Earlier, on Friday, the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) personnel carried out a demonstration of the movement of wheeled stretchers through the pipeline inserted to extricate the trapped workers.

NDRF personnel, who went inside the pipeline for the demo, said they did not experience any breathing problems during the exercise and could move out comfortably.

The drilling work at Uttarkashi’s Silkyara tunnel to evacuate 41 trapped workers was halted again on Thursday night after the auger machine encountered a technical snag.

Bhaskar Khulbe, a former advisor to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), said a 2-metre part of the inserted pipe had to be cut off as it got compressed due to friction while drilling. This happened after the auger heavy-duty driller encountered an obstruction and exerted more pressure on Thursday, he informed.

‘Last night, we had to revamp the platform on which the machine is mounted. However, Parsons Company operated a ground penetration radar, which told us that there is no metallic obstruction for the next 5 metres (inside the tunnel).

This means that our drilling, once it resumes, should be smooth. When we were removing the debris, we came upon two mangled pipes,’ Khulbe said, adding that the trapped workers may be extricated by Friday.

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