Uttarakhand: Nearly 40 labourers trapped as Uttarkashi under-construction tunnel collapses
A portion of a tunnel under construction between Silkyara and Dandalgaon on Brahmakhal-Yamunotri highway in Uttarkashi district collapsed.
At least 36 workers were reportedly trapped after a portion of a tunnel under construction between Silkyara and Dandalgaon on the Brahmakhal-Yamunotri national highway in Uttarkashi district in Uttarakhand collapsed in the early hours of Sunday.
Police said the incident took place around 4am when a 150-metre-long portion of the four-and-a-half-kilometer-long tunnel collapsed.
As soon as information about the incident was received, Uttarkashi Superintendent of Police Arpan Yaduvanshi immediately reached the spot and launched a relief and rescue operation, news agency PTI reported.
National Disaster Response Force, State Disaster Response Force, fire brigade and employees of the National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited (NHIDCL), the organisation that is constructing the tunnel, are at the spot as well, the report added.
"In Silkyara Tunnel, a part of the tunnel has broken about 200 meters ahead of the starting point. According to the officials of HIDCL, which is looking after the construction work of the tunnel, about 36 people are trapped in the tunnel and efforts are being made to rescue them safely. Police force, NDRF and SDRF team are present at the spot. Till now, no casualty has been reported. We will soon rescue all the people safely," Uttarkashi SP Arpan Yaduvanshi told reporters at the spot.
"About 200 metres (218 yards) of the tunnel have collapsed," Durgesh Rathodi, a state disaster response official, told news agency AFP from the site.
"About 40 to 41 workers are trapped inside. Oxygen is being supplied through the debris, but more rubble is coming down as rescuers try to remove the obstruction," he added.
Photographs released by the government rescue teams showed huge piles of concrete blocking the wide tunnel, with twisted metal bars on its broken roof poking down in front of the rubble.
"Pray to god that those workers trapped inside the tunnel are brought out safely," Uttarakhand chief minister Pushkar Singh Dhami wrote on social media platform X.
Accidents on large infrastructure construction sites are common in India.
With the construction of this all-weather tunnel under the Char Dham Road Project, the journey from Uttarkashi to Yamunotri Dham will be reduced by 26 kilometres.
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