In northern India, the dramatic rescue of 41 construction workers trapped for almost two weeks in a collapsed tunnel is approaching its final phase. The workers have been stuck since November 12 when a landslide caused a section of the 4.5-kilometer tunnel they were constructing to cave in just 200 meters from the entrance. The rescue team faced challenges as they drilled horizontally into the mountainous terrain of Uttarakhand state. Last week, the drilling machine encountered issues leading rescuers to temporarily halt their efforts and consider alternative plans. The tough terrain and intense vibrations from the machine posed difficulties causing additional debris to fall.

Uttarkashi Tunnel Rescue: How Workers Trapped In the Mining?

Workers Trapped in Uttarkashi Tunnel Collapse

As of Wednesday night, the drill had successfully penetrated 44 meters out of the required 57. Once the remaining 13 meters are excavated, the rescuers plan to insert and weld together pipes providing a pathway for the workers to crawl to safety. Harpal Singh a manager involved in the rescue from another tunnel project, expressed hope that the trapped workers would be rescued on Thursday morning.

To aid the workers during their ordeal officials started supplying hot meals through a 6 inches pipe earlier in the week, replacing the dry food sent through a narrower pipe. The trapped workers are also receiving oxygen through a separate pipe.

The rescue operation faced setbacks but on Wednesday evening, ambulances and a team of 15 doctors were dispatched to the site raising optimism among the relatives who had anxiously awaited news about their loved ones. Devashish, whose brother-in-law is among the trapped workers, shared that his relative had assured him of their imminent meeting alleviating some of the family’s worries.

Despite the challenges, a video released on Tuesday, captured by a camera pushed through the pipe showed the workers in their construction gear inside the blocked tunnel. The workers communicated with rescuers using walkie-talkies, providing a glimpse into their condition.

The collapsed tunnel is part of the Chardham all-weather road, a significant federal project connecting various Hindu pilgrimage sites in Uttarakhand. The region known for its Hindu temples, has seen constant construction to accommodate the influx of pilgrims and tourists.

As the rescue efforts enter their final phase, families eagerly await the safe return of their loved ones hoping for a positive outcome after days of anxiety and uncertainty.

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