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Uttarakhand Tunnel Collapse: Protests Break out Over Delay in Rescue Operations

Over 72 hours later, 40 workers still trapped as rescuers await arrival of a replacement machine from Delhi to resume drilling operation.

Uttarkashi: Rescue operation underway after a portion of a tunnel under construction between Silkyara and Dandalgaon on the Brahmakhal-Yamunotri national highway collapsed, in Uttarkashi district, Monday, Nov. 13, 2023. (PTI Photo)

Uttarkashi: Workers, family members and others held a protest outside the under-construction tunnel at Silkyara on Wednesday over the delay in rescuing labourers trapped inside for the last three days.

The protestors vented their anger over the absence of an alternative plan when the machines deployed for drilling the rubble to prepare an escape passage for trapped labourers did not work on Tuesday evening.

Falling debris from a fresh landslide on Tuesday hampered efforts to insert steel pipes through the collapsed part of the tunnel.

According to officials, all workers are reported safe, and communication has been established. They are also being provided ration and other essentials through pipes.

The arrival of a replacement machine from Delhi is being awaited by rescuers for the resumption of the drilling operation.

Nearly 40 workers have been trapped behind debris for over 72 hours since a portion of an under-construction tunnel between Silkyara and Dandalgaon on the Brahmakhal-Yamunotri National Highway caved in on Sunday following a landslide.

According to a list of the trapped workers issued by the emergency operation centre, 15 are from Jharkhand, eight from Uttar Pradesh, five from Odisha, four from Bihar, three from West Bengal, two each from Uttarakhand and Assam, and one from Himachal Pradesh.

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