Snag in Machine Halts Uttarakhand Tunnel Rescue Operation

New Delhi: The rescue operation to evacuate 40 labourers from the partially collapsed Silkyara tunnel in Uttarakhand was suspended on Friday when a US-made auger machine used to drill and push in pipes developed a snag.

Another high-performance drilling machine airlifted from Indore in Madhya Pradesh has already landed at the Jolly Grant airport in Dehradun. It is being transported by road to Silkyara where it will be unloaded and assembled for drilling, said officials monitoring the rescue operation.

The heavy-duty auger machine had drilled up to 24 metres through the rubble when it developed a snag on Friday afternoon. The stranded labourers are behind 60-metre of debris.

A statement issued by the NHIDCL on Friday night said, “Around 2.45 pm on Friday, during the positioning of the fifth pipe, a loud cracking sound was heard in the tunnel after which the rescue operation was suspended”.

The tunnel is a central government project being constructed under the National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited for better road connection for Chardham Yatra.


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