The situation in the North Kashi tunnel in Uttarakhand, India, remains challenging as difficulties have emerged during the second round of rescue operations. The tunnel experienced a collapse during the insertion of the pipe, and two members of the rescue team were injured. Efforts to bring in new machines from Delhi are underway to address the challenges faced during the rescue operation. Currently, the rescue operation has been temporarily suspended.
Protests have erupted among other workers at the site due to the delays in the rescue operation. Demonstrators are demanding the swift rescue of their colleagues, and slogans such as ‘Rescue our people’ are being raised. In response to the protests, rescuers are urging people not to gather around the tunnel to ensure the safety of everyone involved.
Approximately 40 workers have been trapped in the North Kashi tunnel for over 70 hours, and they remain connected through pipes. While food and essentials are being delivered to them, the situation for safely bringing the workers out of the tunnel has not yet materialized.
Plans are underway to excavate the rubble and insert a wide pipe to facilitate the rescue. However, challenges arise during the excavation process, leading to new collapses. The rescue efforts, which were initially expected to conclude by Wednesday, are now uncertain due to the recent collapse. Modern digging machines with a capacity of five meters per hour are being brought in from Delhi to aid in the rescue.
Currently, a team of 160 rescuers, including the National and State Disaster Response Force, Indo-Tibetan Police, and Border Roadways Force, are actively engaged in the rescue operations within the Uttarkashi tunnels. The situation is being closely monitored as efforts continue to safely retrieve the trapped workers.