Uttarkashi tunnel collapse
Uttarkashi tunnel collapse

Uttarkashi Tunnel Collapse: A Chronicle of the Disaster and Ongoing Rescue Struggles

Uttarkashi Tunnel Collapse:

The calamitous collapse of the Silkyara tunnel in Uttarkashi district has led to a harrowing 14-day ordeal for 41 trapped workers. The latest setback occurred on Friday evening as the auger machine, a crucial component in creating an escape passage, encountered yet another obstacle, halting rescue efforts.

Uttatkashi Tunnel Collapse Timeline of the Disaster and Rescue Operations:

November 12:

    • The disaster unfolds as portions of the Silkyara-Dandalgaon tunnel collapse due to a landslide on Diwali morning, trapping laborers.

    • Immediate rescue efforts are initiated by the district administration, involving multiple agencies such as NDRF, SDRF, BRO, NHIDCL, and ITBP.

    • Oxygen, electricity, and food are supplied to the trapped workers through air-compressed pipes.

November 13:

    • Contact is established with trapped workers through an oxygen supply pipe, confirming their safety.

    • CM Pushkar Dhami visits the site, and fresh rubble complicates the rescue mission.

November 14:

    • Steel pipes are brought to the tunnel site for horizontal digging through the rubble.

    • Minor injuries occur as more rubble falls, and trapped workers are supplied with essentials.

November 15:

    • NHIDCL requests a state-of-the-art auger machine from Delhi to expedite operations.

November 16:

    • The new drilling machine is assembled and begins working past midnight.

November 17:

    • The machine drills about 24 meters by afternoon, but operations halt when the fifth pipe hits an obstacle.

    • Another high-performance auger machine is flown in from Indore.

November 18:

    • Operations pause due to concerns that vibrations from the drilling machine may cause further collapse.

    • PMO explores alternative evacuation plans.

November 19:

    • Drilling remains suspended as experts consider horizontal drilling as the best option.

November 20:

    • PM Modi emphasizes the need to keep morale high.

    • A breakthrough is achieved as rescuers push a pipeline through the rubble.

November 21:

    • The first video of trapped workers is released.

    • Drilling resumes from the Silkyara end, but an alternative tunnel drilling begins.

November 22:

    • Drilling reaches 45 meters, but iron rods impede progress.

November 23:

    • Drilling progresses but is briefly halted due to cracks in the drilling platform.

November 24:

    • Drilling resumes after resolving a hurdle but stops again after hitting a metal girder.

The Uttarkashi tunnel collapse continues to pose formidable challenges, with each day bringing new obstacles in the race against time to rescue the trapped workers.

Q&A: Uttarkashi Tunnel Collapse and Ongoing Rescue Operations

Q1: What caused the collapse of the Silkyara tunnel in Uttarkashi?

A1: The collapse was triggered by a landslide on November 12, affecting portions of the Silkyara-Dandalgaon under-construction tunnel on the Brahmkhal-Yamunotri highway.

Q2: How many workers are currently trapped, and what has been done for their rescue?

A2: 41 workers are trapped inside. Immediate rescue efforts were launched by multiple agencies, including NDRF, SDRF, BRO, NHIDCL, and ITBP. Oxygen, electricity, and food were supplied through air-compressed pipes.

Q3: What obstacles have the rescue operations faced so far?

A3: The rescue operations have faced various challenges, including continuous falling rubble, technical snags, and obstacles encountered by drilling machines, such as hitting metal girders.

Q4: What is the latest setback in the ongoing rescue efforts?

A4: The latest setback occurred on the 14th day, as the auger machine, crucial for creating an escape passage, hit a metal girder, halting the drilling process.

Q5: What alternative strategies are being considered for the rescue?

A5: The PMO and experts are exploring five evacuation plans simultaneously, including vertical drilling through the top of the tunnel. Additionally, an alternative tunnel drilling has been initiated.

Q6: How has technology been employed in the rescue operations?

A6: State-of-the-art auger machines, including an airlifted machine from Delhi and one from Indore, have been utilized to expedite drilling through the rubble.

Q7: What communication has been established with the trapped workers? 

A7: Contact was established with the workers through a pipe meant for oxygen supply, confirming their safety. Additionally, a video was released showing workers receiving essentials through a pipeline.

Q8: What role has the central government played in the rescue efforts? 

A8: Union minister Nitin Gadkari and PM Narendra Modi have been actively monitoring the situation. PM Modi spoke to CM Pushkar Dhami, emphasizing the need to keep morale high.

Q9: How are the health and well-being of the trapped workers being addressed? 

A9: Ambulances are on standby, and a special ward at a local health center is prepared. Essentials, including food, water, oxygen, and medicines, are being supplied through pipelines.

Q10: What is the current status of the rescue operations, and what challenges lie ahead? 

A10: The rescue operations are ongoing, with the latest challenge being the drilling machine hitting a metal girder. The situation remains complex, requiring continuous efforts to overcome obstacles and ensure the safety of the trapped workers.

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