On the early morning of November 12, 2023, tragedy takes place as a portion of the Silkyara Bend – Barkot tunnel, a key component of the Char Dham road project in Uttarkashi District, Uttarakhand, collapsed, trapping 40 workers inside.
Rescue efforts has been started immediately, led by the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), State Disaster Response Force (SDRF), and the police. Communication was established with the trapped workers on Monday, assuring their safety. Basic necessities such as water, food, and oxygen were supplied through a pipe to sustain the workers.
The details about tunnel is that it is about 4.5km tunnel aimed to connect Silkyara to Dandalgaon, reducing the journey from Uttarkashi to Yamunotri Dham. Collapse occurred approximately 270m from the Silkyara entrance, with 2.3km constructed from Silkyara and 1.6km from Barkot.
The challenges that comes in between Rescue Operation is excess debris may collapse at the time of digging ,rescuers cleared about 20 meters of debris and heavy machinery and excavators were in a work to clear debris, but workers are still 40 meters inside .To address falling debris, Authorities used cement to stabilize the situation, as stated by Mohsen Shahidi, a senior National Disaster Response Force Officer.
Highlighting on government effort
Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami visited the site, assuring continuous rescue efforts.
Image source: https://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/tunnel-collapse-uttarkashi-uttarakhand-rescue-operations-on-2462113-2023-11-13
A six-member expert committee, led by the Director of Uttarakhand Landslide Mitigation and Management Centre, was formed to investigate the collapse.
Ongoing Rescue Operations
As of Tuesday, workers had been trapped for three days, and rescue teams faced challenges due to ongoing debris falling. Cement was utilized to stabilize the terrain and prevent further debris collapse.
Rescuers communicated with trapped workers using radio handsets and sent them provisions through a pipe delivering oxygen.
Chief Minister Dhami provided updates on X stating contact had been established, and workers would be brought out safely soon.
Image source : https://scroll.in/latest/1059313/uttarakhand-tunnel-collapse-five-point-action-plan-adopted-to-rescue-workers-trapped-for-a-week