Rescuers who worked overnight to help around 40 workers trapped by a tunnel collapse in Uttarkashi, a town in the northern Indian state of Uttarakhand, have established communication with them and have been able to send them food and water. The under-construction tunnel was at the Brahmakhal-Yamunotri National Highway.
The local police control room said today that the trapped workers were safe and had asked for food, which was being sent to them. Officials added that communication was established on walkie-talkies and food packets were supplied with the help of compressors.
Dredging and drilling through the debris inside the under-construction tunnel between Silkyara and Dandalgaon is going on to prepare an escape passage for the trapped labourers, according to the district emergency operation centre.
A part of the tunnel collapsed yesterday morning, leaving around 40 labourers trapped inside. The tunnel is part of the Char Dham all-weather road project.
According to the District Emergency Operation Centre, the labourers are from Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Odisha, Uttarakhand, and Himachal Pradesh.
About 160 personnel of agencies such as the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), State Disaster Response Force (SDRF), Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), and the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) are trying to rescue the trapped labourers.
Officials had said yesterday that they were optimistic about the safety of the trapped labourers as enough oxygen was made available to them through a water pipeline.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami yesterday to enquire about the rescue efforts being carried out.