Uttarkashi tunnel collapse LIVE: Auger drill stuck in rubble, no quick exit in sight now for trapped workers

26 Nov 2023, 07:22 AM IST
Rescue workers to undertake manual drilling in turns

Uttarkashi tunnel rescue LIVE: Around 47-metre of the 60 metre stretch of the rescue passage has been already bored and further rescue operation would involve manual drilling under which individual workers will drill for a short period in the confined space in turns.

26 Nov 2023, 07:05 AM IST
Vertical drilling most likely to begin today

Uttarkashi tunnel rescue LIVE: Retired National Disaster Management Authority Member, Lt General Syed Ata Hasnain on Saturday informed “This operation could take a long time.\” He further added that vertical drilling would most likely begin in  “next 24 to 36\” hours as it was quicker of the 2 alternative approaches.

26 Nov 2023, 06:53 AM IST
Alternative approaches to reach workers being considered after blades of auger machine broke

Uttarkashi tunnel rescue LIVE: On November 25, thirteenth day, officials shifted their rescue mission to two alternatives techniques when auger machine blades broke while drilling. The alternative approach involves manual drilling through the remaining 10 or 12-metre stretch of the 60 metre stretch that has already been drilled. Rubble drilling from above was also considered that involves drilling 86 metres down .

26 Nov 2023, 06:37 AM IST
Mobile phones supplied to workers to play games

Uttarkashi tunnel rescue LIVE: Mobile phones were sent to stranded workers through a 6-inch pipe for them to get involved and play video games, informed senior official involved in the rescue operation. He further added, \”There is no mobile network nearby but we are also considering providing Wi-Fi connectivity. We are also considering providing a cricket bat and ball to the workers so that they can play cricket. You can spend your time playing because there is a lot of space inside the tunnel where the workers are trapped, so cricket can be played easily.\”

26 Nov 2023, 06:15 AM IST
Rescue team prepares protection umbrella inside Silkyara tunnel

Uttarkashi tunnel rescue LIVE: Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) came up with the initiative to provide the trapped workers with a landline through which they could have a talk with their families. A BSNL official Kundan informed that process of sending a small landline phone to the stranded workers through the pipe is underway. He said, “Through this, they will be able to talk directly to their families.\”

25 Nov 2023, 10:50 PM IST
Duty to protect our workforce from any seen or unforeseen uncertainty: CPM MP in letter to PM Modi

“It\’s our duty to protect our workforce from any seen or unforeseen uncertainty in such a situation. Therefore, I urge you to take immediate steps and impress upon all stakeholders and employers to mandatorily ensure generous insurance amounts to workers in hazardous and dangerous surroundings,\” Communist Party of India MP Binoy Viswam said in a letter addressed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, ANI reported.

25 Nov 2023, 10:04 PM IST
Auger drill stuck in Silkyara rubble, no quick exit in sight now for trapped workers

The blades of the auger machine drilling through the rubble of the collapsed Silkyara tunnel were still stuck, officials were reported as saying by news agency PTI. The rescue team will switch to other options to proceed with the operation to safely evacuate the trapped workers. However, the alternative methods are expected to delay their rescue by several days.

25 Nov 2023, 07:34 PM IST
Landline facility set up for trapped workers: BSNL official

\”We have set up a telephone exchange. We will give them a phone connected with the line via the pipe being used for sending food. This phone will have incoming and outgoing facilities. They can talk to their family,\” DGM, BSNL, Rakesh Chaudhary told PTI.

25 Nov 2023, 05:27 PM IST
Uttarakhand CM takes stock of situation

25 Nov 2023, 05:06 PM IST
Rescue operations to take time, focus now on vertical drilling, says NDMA

Rescue operations at the Silkyara tunnel will take time, the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) said, adding that their focus is now on vertical drilling. According to the NDMA, 86 meters of vertical drilling needed to reach Silkyara tunnel\’s crust.

25 Nov 2023, 04:49 PM IST
Efforts on to retrieve broken part of auger machine, says NDMA

The National Disaster Management Authority said 47-meter drilling done so far, and efforts are underway to retrieve broken part of the auger machine.

25 Nov 2023, 04:14 PM IST
Plasma cutter from Hyderabad being flown in, manual drilling to begin tomorrow, says CM Dhami

A plasma cutter is being flown in from Hyderabad to cut the auger machine, Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami told ANI. \”Everyone knows that this rescue operation is being done under difficult and challenging circumstances. The machine got stuck after reaching so close…We are expecting that by tomorrow morning this machine will come out, and after that, the operation will move forward manually,\” the chief minister added.

25 Nov 2023, 03:09 PM IST
Confident that workers are coming home safe by Christmas, says top expert involved in rescue ops

“We are looking at multiple options, but with each option, we are considering how do we make sure that 41 men come home safe and we don\’t hurt anyone…The mountain has again resisted the auger, so we are rethinking our approach…I am confident that the 41 men are coming home by Christmas…I have always promised that the workers will be home by Christmas,\” said Arnold Dix, an international tunneling expert who is involved in the rescue operations.

25 Nov 2023, 03:05 PM IST
Auger machine\’s blades stuck inside rubble, plasma cutter needed: CM Dhami

Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami, while commenting on the Silkyara tunnel rescue operation, said the auger machine\’s blades are stuck inside the rubble, and that a plasma cutter would be needed.

25 Nov 2023, 02:58 PM IST
AAP leader questions govt over Uttarkashi tunnel incident

Delhi minister and AAP leader Saurabh Bharadwaj, while commenting on the Uttarkashi tunnel incident, told ANI, “Three days ago, I expressed a doubt that were standard operating procedures followed in this (Uttarkashi Tunnel). Now that I am seeing the news in newspapers, that fear has turned out to be true. To bypass environmental clearance, the project of building hundreds of metres of roads was divided into 53 small parts. Then it was passed so that there is no requirement for environmental clearance… This work is done by the central and Uttarakhand governments.\”

25 Nov 2023, 01:23 PM IST
CM Dhami arrives in Uttarkashi to take stock of situation | Video

25 Nov 2023, 12:38 PM IST
Manual drilling to rescue 41 trapped workers in last stretch

Uttarkashi tunnel collapse LIVE news updates: Efforts to rescue 41 workers trapped in a highway tunnel in the Indian Himalayas for two weeks will be further slowed as rescuers are considering drilling through the last 10 meters of debris manually, an official said on Saturday.

The heavy drill machine being used to break through the nearly 60 meters of debris was damaged on Friday and needs to be pulled out entirely, according to an official statement. (Reuters)

25 Nov 2023, 11:49 AM IST
Damaged blades of the auger drilling machine brought out | Video

25 Nov 2023, 10:19 AM IST
Vertical drilling at Silkyara tunnel to rescue 41 workers

Uttarkashi tunnel collapse LIVE news updates: Vertical drilling will soon begin at the Silkyara tunnel site where 41 workers are trapped for the past 14 days.

25 Nov 2023, 09:15 AM IST
\’Manual drilling will start once Auger removed from pipeline\’

Uttarkashi tunnel collapse LIVE news updates: An official has said that manual drilling to reach the 41 trapped workers will start once the Auger is removed from the pipeline. Today is the 14th day since the workers have been trapped in the Silkyara tunnel.

25 Nov 2023, 08:07 AM IST
Uttarkashi tunnel collapse LIVE: ‘No heavy objects present up to 5 metres,’ say experts

The team of experts who came to conduct a survey at the rescue site of the Silkyara tunnel, where 41 workers were trapped after a portion of the tunnel collapsed over a week ago, informed that there were no heavy objects up to 5 metres in the rescue tunnel.

The team, which came from Parsan Overseas Pvt Ltd Delhi, used the ground-penetrating radar (GPR) technique to examine the rescue tunnel.

Ground Penetrating Radar, also known as GPR, Georadar, Subsurface Interface Radar, or Geo-probing Radar, is a totally non-destructive technique to produce a cross-section profile of the subsurface without any drilling, trenching or ground disturbances.

25 Nov 2023, 07:35 AM IST
Uttarkashi tunnel collapse LIVE: Timeline of the incident and rescue operation

  • November 12: The labourers get trapped as portions of the Silkyara-Dandalgaon under-construction tunnel on the Brahmkhal-Yamunotri highway collapse following a landslide at around 5.30 am on the day of Diwali. Rescue efforts are launched by the district administration and arrangements made to supply oxygen, electricity and eatables to the trapped labourers through air-compressed pipes. Multiple agencies, including the NDRF, SDRF, BRO, project executing agency NHIDCL and ITBP, join the rescue efforts.
  • November 13: Contact is established with the trapped workers through a pipe meant to supply oxygen to them and they are reported to be safe. Uttarakhand CM Pushkar Dhami visits the site. Fresh rubble keeps falling from above due to which the debris accumulated in an area of around 30 metres spreads to 60 metres, further complicating the rescue mission.
  • November 14: Steel pipes of 800- and 900-millimetre diameter are brought to the tunnel site to be inserted through the rubble with the help of an auger machine for horizontal digging. However, when more rubble falls from the cavity created by the cave-in, two labourers sustain minor injuries.
  • November 15: Dissatisfied with the first drilling machine, the NHIDCL asks for a state-of-the-art auger machine, which is airlifted from Delhi to speed up the operation.
  • November 16: The drilling machine is assembled and installed. It starts working past midnight.
  • November 17: Working overnight, the machine drills about 24 metres through the 57-metre stretch rubble stretch by the afternoon and four MS pipes are inserted. The process comes to a halt when the fifth pipe hits an obstacle. Another high-performance auger machine is flown down from Indore to assist in the rescue efforts. In the evening, the NHIDCL, during the positioning of the fifth pipe, reports that a big cracking sound was heard in the tunnel. An expert warns about the possibility of further collapse in the vicinity and the operation is suspended immediately.
  • November 18: Drilling does not resume on Saturday as experts feel that the vibrations created by the diesel-driven 1,750-horse power American auger inside the tunnel might cause more debris to collapse, posing a risk to the lives of the rescue personnel.
  • November 19: Drilling remains suspended while Union minister Nitin Gadkari who reviews the rescue operation says boring horizontally with the huge auger machine appeared to be the best bet. He anticipates a breakthrough within two and a half days.
  • November 20: PM Narendra Modi speaks to Dhami over phone to take stock of the rescue operations at the Silkyara tunnel and stresses on the need to keep their morale up. Rescuers push through a six-inch-wide pipeline through the rubble, a breakthrough that helps them supply larger quantities of food and other essentials to trapped workers.
  • November 21: Rescuers release the first video of the labourers trapped inside the Silkyara tunnel. The workers, wearing yellow and white helmets, are seen receiving food items sent to them through the pipeline and talking to each other. Two blasts are set off at the Balkot-end of the under-construction tunnel on the Char Dham route, beginning the process of drilling another tunnel – an alternative to the Silkyara-end option. However, this approach could take up to 40 days, experts said. The NHIDCL resumes overnight the “horizontal boring operation from the Silkyara end\” that involved an auger machine.
  • November 22: Ambulances are kept on standby and a special ward at a local health centre is made ready. Horizontal drilling of 800 mm diameter steel pipes reaches about 45 metres with only 12 metres remaining of the around 57-metre debris stretch. However, in a late evening development, the drilling hits a hurdle when some iron rods come in the way of the auger machine.
  • November 23: The iron obstruction that had caused a delay of six hours in the drilling is removed in the morning. Rescue operations are resumed. State government\’s nodal officer tells reporters that drilling had progressed by 1.8 metre after Wednesday night\’s setback.Officials say the 48-metre point has been reached by the drill. But boring through the rubble had to be put on hold again apparently after cracks appeared in the platform on which the drilling machine rests.
  • November 24: The the 25-tonne machine is restarted on Friday evening and drilling is resumed. However, a fresh hurdle is faced as the boring continues for about an hour before the drill hits a metal girder. The rescue operation is halted again.
25 Nov 2023, 07:22 AM IST
Uttarkashi tunnel collapse LIVE: Rescue ops halted as drill hits metal girder

As the rescue operations to evacuate 41 workers trapped in Uttarakhand\’s Silkyara tunnel in Uttarkashi district entered the thirteenth day on Friday, it faced yet another setback. The auger drilling machine hit a metal girder in the evening. The rescue operation is halted again.

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