How plasma machine from Hyderabad is cutting auger stuck in Uttarkashi tunnel | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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How plasma machine from Hyderabad is cutting auger stuck in Uttarkashi tunnel debris

Nov 26, 2023 12:46 PM IST

Uttarkashi tunnel collapse: Uttarakhand chief minister Pushkar Singh Dhami said that the cutting of the auger machine is expected to be completed soon.

A plasma cutter machine was flown from Hyderabad to the rescue site in Uttarakhand's Uttarkashi on Sunday morning to cut the auger machine stuck in the debris of the Silkyara tunnel. Officials said the machine was brought from Andhra Pradesh's Rajahmundry airport to Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun at 2am on Saturday night by a charter flight of a private company.

Uttarkashi: A view near the entrance of the Silkyara Tunnel during a rescue operation of 41 workers trapped inside it.(PTI)
Uttarkashi: A view near the entrance of the Silkyara Tunnel during a rescue operation of 41 workers trapped inside it.(PTI)

According to micro-tunneling expert Chris Cooper, the plasma machine will help cut the steel of the auger machine faster. “We are still cutting the auger. We have about 16 meters more of auger to cut,” he told news agency ANI.

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Meanwhile, Uttarakhand chief minister Pushkar Singh Dhami said that the cutting of the auger machine is expected to be completed soon, after which the officials would begin the manual drilling to rescue the trapped workers, reported ANI.

The efforts to rescue the 41 workers trapped inside the Silkyara-Barkot under-construction tunnel are being carried out at a war footing as the rescue operations entered its 15th day. The workers have been trapped behind a huge mound of debris since November 12.

While there have been several technical snags in the rescue operations in the past few days, leading to the delay in the evacuation process, it was completely halted on Friday night after a portion of the auger machine broke, blocking the potential escape route. According to a National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) member on Saturday, there has not been any movement in the last 24 hours. However, experts believe that the evacuation process may be carried out without any snags in the last stage of drilling.

Meanwhile, the Indian Air Force (IAF) on Sunday morning said that it flew in critical DRDO equipment to Dehradun for the rescue work. “Responding with alacrity to the requirements of the ongoing rescue operation, late last evening the IAF flew in critical DRDO equipment to Dehradun,” it said.

(With inputs from ANI)

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