For the first time in nine days, images emerge of the 41 workers trapped in a collapsed car tunnel in India. The highway tunnel under construction collapsed in a landslide. Rescue workers are now doing everything they can to free the workers, but the action is extremely difficult.
LOOK. The first images of Indian workers trapped in a tunnel:
The above images were taken with an endoscopic camera that was inserted into a new pipe in the tunnel yesterday. Rescue workers can use the camera to see how the workers are doing. “We will reach you all soon, don’t worry,” a rescuer tells the workers. The workers’ family and friends are relieved that they can see them through the images. “I’ve seen them on screen, but now I want to see them in real life again,” says Rahul Ameen, a colleague of the men.
The workers have been trapped in the tunnel for nine days after it collapsed due to a landslide. They were digging a tunnel of about 4.5 kilometers in the mountainous northern state of Uttarakhand.
The new pipe also allows rescue workers to deliver hot meals – packaged in bottles – to the workers. Previously, they only ate snacks brought down through a narrower pipe. In addition to food, they also receive water, oxygen and medicines through the pipes.
It is not an easy job to free the workers. Obstacles due to loose soil and falling debris complicate the rescue operation, which involves more than two hundred employees. There is a rescue plan to allow workers to drill vertically into the tunnel. The workers have to dig down about 103 meters to reach the workers.
Federal Roads Minister Nitin Gadkari visited the site yesterday and said the rescue operation would continue for “two to three days”. The minister also said that they are working with two drilling machines at the same time, but that working in the Himalayan region is very complicated. In an earlier attempt last Friday, the rescue team tried to reach the workers horizontally, but the action was halted by vibrations and a large amount of debris.
There has been a lot of criticism about the construction of the car tunnel. Experts had earlier warned about the impact of major construction in Uttarakhand as large parts of the state are prone to landslides.
Free unlimited access to Showbytes? Which can!
Log in or create an account and never miss anything from the stars.