Uttarkashi tunnel: Rescuers to start bringing out trapped men soon, ambulances on standby

Rat-hole miners complete laying of pipe to reach workers

Rescue mission tunnel Josekutty Panackal - 1

The 17-day-long mission to rescue 41 workers trapped behind the debris inside Silkyara tunnel in Uttarkashi has entered the final stretch. According to reports, a breakthrough has been achieved after a team of rat-hole mining experts began the manual drilling process to excavate the passage to get to the trapped men.

The team completed digging through the debris and laying the pipe to bring out the trapped workers, NDTV reported. Multiple reports state that National Disaster Rescue Force personnel, emergency medicine personnel and and ambulances are on standby to enter the tunnel.

Confirming that a good news of their safe rescue is expected soon, Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami tweeted: "As a result of immense grace of Baba Baukh Nagji (and) prayers of crores of countrymen and the tireless work of all rescue teams... the work of laying pipes in the tunnel to take out the workers has been completed. Soon all the labourer brothers will be taken out.”

Manual drilling operations began on Sunday after parts of the auger machine, that got stuck in the rubble, were removed. The final stretch of the arduous mission, spearheaded by multiple agencies involves pulling the men out on wheeled stretchers one-by-one. After the men are taken out, they will be taken to a special medical facility, equipped with 41 oxygen-equipped beds, at Chinyalisaur.

-more details awaited

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