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    RADIO ROXI TIMELESS TUNES

World News

India tunnel rescue: Crews face 17-hour mission to reach 41 workers trapped for 11 days | World News

today23/11/2023

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Rescuers are facing a 17-hour mission to reach 41 workers who have now been trapped inside a tunnel in India for 11 days.

Crews have been working round the clock drilling through 60m (197ft) of debris after the under-construction highway tunnel in Silkyara, located in Uttarakhand state in the Himalayas, caved in on 12 November.

Rescue teams encountered an unexpected delay on Thursday after getting through 45m (150ft) of debris, when they discovered a lattice steel girder arch which required six hours to cut and remove.

A former advisor to the prime minister’s office, Bhaskar Khulbe, who is working on the mission, has said it could take 12-14 hours to reach the men.

It will then take a further two to three hours to assemble workers and get the men out, with the help of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF).

The men are safe and have access to oxygen, food, water and medicine, authorities have said.

But some of the men have become unwell, suffering from fever, body aches and nervousness, leaving worried family and friends feeling frustrated and angry over the delays to free them.

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Mum’s anguish over trapped worker

Mr Khulbe told reporters: “Our calculation as of now is…roughly 14 to 15 hours, unless something else happens, and we hope we will be able to do that.

“It is difficult to anticipate what more hurdles we might face,” he said, adding that no major problem is expected aside from another metal obstacle or rock.

The men have now been trapped in the under-construction road tunnel in Silkyara for 11 days Pic: AP
Image:
The men have now been trapped in the under-construction road tunnel in Silkyara for 11 days Pic: AP

Rescue workers pictured at the scene on Wednesday say it could take up to 17 hours to reach the trapped men Pic: AP
Image:
Rescue workers pictured at the scene on Wednesday say it could take up to 17 hours to reach the trapped men Pic: AP

Once drilling is completed, officials plan to send crews through an evacuation pipe with stretchers on wheels to bring the trapped men to safety.

The tunnel collapsed following a landslide in Uttarakhand – a region popular with tourists.

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A major rescue operation is underway to rescue the workers
Image:
A major rescue operation is under way to bring the workers to safety

The under-construction road tunnel collapsed on Sunday following a landslide in India's northern Himalayan state of Uttarakhand - a region popular with tourists.
Image:
The under-construction road tunnel collapsed following a landslide in India’s northern Himalayan state of Uttarakhand – a region popular with tourists.

The tunnel is located on the Char Dham pilgrimage route – one of the most ambitious projects of Prime Minister Narendra Modi‘s government.

The tunnel aims to link four key Hindu pilgrimage sites with 890km (550m) of two-lane road, in a project costing $1.5bn (£1.19bn).

A safety audit of 29 tunnels currently being built by the National Highways Authority of India will now take place, the government announced on Wednesday.



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