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Uttarakhand tunnel collapse highlights: Vertical drilling makes swift progress in rescue ops

Uttarakhand tunnel collapse highlights: The manual drilling to rescue 41 trapped workers is likely to start from today.
Rescue operations still in progress at Uttarakhand tunnel collapse site (File Photo)
Rescue operations still in progress at Uttarakhand tunnel collapse site (File Photo)

Uttarakhand tunnel collapse highlights: The operations to rescue the 41 workers trapped inside the Silkyara tunnel in Uttarakhand's Uttarkashi entered the 15th day on Sunday, with the vertical drilling expected to commence in the afternoon. The final phase of the rescue operations has been hit by repeated snags, with the American auger machine hitting a metal grinder in the rubble and breaking down, now being beyond repair....Read More

  • After the horizontal drilling using the American auger didn't pan out, the agencies are considering moving forward with the vertical drilling method.
  • Only 10 per cent of the tunnel rubble is left to be drilled to insert the steel pipe through which the 41 trapped workers will be wheeled out of the wreckage using stretchers.
  • Experts have detected that only about 10-12 metres of drilling is required, and there is currently no metal obstruction which could cause a snag in the rescue operations.
  • If vertical drilling doesn't help in rescuing the workers, agencies have said that they will commence manual drilling, which is their last resort.
  • Manual drilling of the tunnel rubble will have fewer risks but will be less efficient, as it will take another 18-24 hours to complete.

Follow all the updates here:
Nov 26, 2023 11:26 PM IST

‘Work is going on very fast’, says Uttarakhand govt official

Secretary in the Uttarakhand government Neeraj Khairwal said the work to remove the auger machine that was stuck in the rubble has been accelerated.

"With the arrival of plasma cutting machines and other machines, the work is going on at a very fast pace. No hurdle has come so far, the timeline to remove it cannot be told. We are removing the broken auger faster than before. It cannot be told how much time will be taken to remove it, after it is cleared, we will do manual drilling inside. The Army's Engineering Regiment will also prepare a plan as to how to work further," he said.

Nov 26, 2023 10:52 PM IST

2 BRO officials injured in road accident on way to Silkyara tunnel

Two BRO officials were injured after their SUV was hit by a private bus near the Silkyara tunnel site on Sunday afternoon, police said, reported PTI.

The accident occurred just half a kilometre away from the tunnel, where 41 workers have been trapped for 14 days, when three Border Roads Organisation (BRO) officials were on the way to the site in their official vehicle.

Nov 26, 2023 9:20 PM IST

Vertical boring begins, rescue shaft reaches 20 metres on first day

Rescuers began drilling into the hill above the Silkyara-Barkot tunnel Sunday, boring nearly 20 metres on the first day of adopting the new approach to reach 41 workers trapped inside for 14 days.

The vertical approach was one of the at least five options on which preparatory work had begun some days back, as anxiety mounted over the fate of the men trapped in the under-construction tunnel on Uttarakhand’s Char Dham route.

Rescue workers have to drill down 86 metres to reach the tunnel. By evening, the heavy drilling equipment had bored down to about 19.5 metres.

Nov 26, 2023 9:00 PM IST

8.15 metres of blades of auger machine to be taken out of rescue pipes

Now 8.15 metres of blades of auger machine to be taken out of rescue pipes inserted through debris. Vertical drilling by SJVNL 19.2 metres done.

Nov 26, 2023 8:53 PM IST

'86 meters of vertical drilling required to reach tunnel's crust': NDMA

Addressing a press briefing in New Delhi, NDMA Member Syed Ata Hasnain said," Our Plan 2 has been currently adopted. The drilling machine reached yesterday. Vertical drilling started at around 12 noon today and 86 meters of vertical digging is required to reach trapped workers.17 metres of drilling has already taken place. We have done geological studies and studies are suggesting that there might be no obstruction. We are checking the stability."

NDMA member further informed that Plan 3 of the sideways drilling has not been started yet.

Nov 26, 2023 8:24 PM IST

Vertical drilling of 19.2 metres done on first day to create escape passage

Vertical drilling of 19.2 metres done on first day to create escape passage for 41 workers trapped inside Silkyara tunnel: Official.

Nov 26, 2023 7:28 PM IST

Process of removing auger machine is underway

As rescue personnel raced against time to reach the workers trapped inside an under-construction tunnel, the process of removing the Auger machine from the debris is underway, and the process is being done by cutting through a plasma cutter machine.

Meanwhile, only 10.9 metres of auger machines are left in the pipeline.

Nov 26, 2023 6:39 PM IST

Indian Army's engineer regiment called in for manual drilling at Uttarkashi's Silkayara tunnel

A unit of Madras Sappers, an engineer group of the Corps of Engineers of the Indian Army has been called in at Uttarkashi's Silkyara tunnel for manual drilling at the site where 41 workers have remained trapped for the past 15 days.

"To do manual drilling, the Indian Army along with civilians will dig out the debris inside the tunnel with weapons like hands, hammers and chisels and then the pipe will be pushed forward from the platform built inside the pipe," an official said.

Nov 26, 2023 6:12 PM IST

Vertical drilling underway to rescue workers trapped in Uttarkashi tunnel

Vertical drilling, one of the several chalked-out options to bring out 41 workers trapped inside the Silkyara tunnel in Uttarkashi since November 12, finally started on Sunday afternoon.

Two locations were identified for the vertical drilling, and both are on the Silkyara side of the high-altitude under-construction tunnel, a portion of which caved in on November 12.

Nov 26, 2023 5:32 PM IST

Uttarkashi tunnel rescue: 15 metres of vertical drilling work completed

15 metres of vertical drilling work completed. As a second option, vertical drilling work was started from the hill above the tunnel.

Nov 26, 2023 5:20 PM IST

After major setback, rescuers start vertical drilling

After facing a setback as the American auger drilling machine suffered irreparable damage and its blades got stuck in the rescue pipes which were being pushed through the debris to create passage, rescuers started vertical working atop the hill to evacuate the 41 workers trapped inside the Silkyara-Barkot tunnel in Uttarkashi since November 12 morning.

Mahmood Ahmad, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Road Transport and Highways of India and Managing Director of National Highways & Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited (NHIDCL) while addressing a press conference said, "We have now come to a stage where we started working on 2-3 more options since yesterday (Saturday). The Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam Limited (SJVNL) is doing a vertical drilling of 1.2 metre diameter for us for evacuation of trapped men. We identified spots where the drilling could be better...The drilling of almost 15 metres is complete and 86 metres has to be done. We think that this will complete in 100 hours (next four days) if there is no obstacle. Once machine can only drill for 45 metres. We will have to change the machine."

Nov 26, 2023 5:19 PM IST

CM Dhami meets trapped worker’s family in Champawat, assures then of safe rescue soon

Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami met the family members of trapped worker Pushkar Singh Airy in Tanakpur area in Champawat district on Sunday and assured them that all the workers trapped in the tunnel will be rescued safely soon.

The Chief Minister said that all the workers are safe and rescue work is being done at war footing level on the spot to get all the workers out safely. He said that the government is committed to the safety of every worker. Food items are also being supplied regularly to the workers. CM was in Tanakpur for the foundation laying ceremony of the inter-state bus terminal (ISBT).

Airy’s parents and relatives are living in hope and disappointment amid the new challenges the rescuers are facing in the rescue operation in the Silkyara tunnel.

Nov 26, 2023 5:12 PM IST

Drone cameras are being used by experts to monitor the rescue operation

Drone cameras are being used by experts to monitor the rescue operation that is underway here to bring out the 41 trapped workers.

Nov 26, 2023 5:10 PM IST

Efforts on to retrieve broken parts of auger machine: NDMA

The National Disaster Management Authority on Sunday said that work is on to retrieve broken parts of the auger machine and start manual digging. NDMA Member Lt Gen (retd) Syed Ata Hasnain told reporters that all efforts are going on to rescue the workers.

Considered as the second best option, the work on vertical drilling started around noon and 15 meters of drilling has already been completed, Hasnain said.

Nov 26, 2023 4:49 PM IST

Once he is out, we won't allow him to work here again: Father of trapped worker

"Once he comes out, we will never allow him to work here again," a distraught Chaudhary said on Sunday, waiting for the rescue of his son, who has been stuck inside the collapsed tunnel in Silkyara along with 40 others for two weeks.

Having lost his another son in an accident in Mumbai earlier, the farm labourer from Lakhimpur Kheri in Uttar Pradesh is now going through the terrible ordeal of waiting for the safe return of his second son.

Nov 26, 2023 4:24 PM IST

Machine for sideways drilling expected to reach site during night: NDMA

Machine for sideways drilling expected to reach Silkayra tunnel rescue site during night, says NDMA

Nov 26, 2023 4:17 PM IST

86 meters of digging required to reach trapped workers, says NDMA

Vertical drilling started at around 12 noon; 86 meters of digging required to reach trapped workers, says NDMA.

Nov 26, 2023 4:13 PM IST

Rescuers make 8-metre progress through vertical drilling

According to official sources, drilling of up to 8 metres has been completed in the last one and a half years, and currently, the work to lay a 900-mm pipeline is being undertaken.

Vertical drilling, one of the several chalked-out options to bring out 41 workers trapped inside the Silkyara tunnel, started on Sunday afternoon.

Nov 26, 2023 3:43 PM IST

Uttarakhand tunnel collapse LIVE updates: Swift progress in drilling

The vertical drilling process is making swift progress, as the machine has drilled over 8 metres in the last 1.5 hours. The work to lay down the pipe through which workers will be wheeled out is currently underway.

Nov 26, 2023 2:57 PM IST

Indian Army tasked with manual drilling of Silkyara tunnel

The Indian Army has been tasked with carrying out the manual drilling operation to remove the metal obstructions in the Silkyara tunnel in the final phase of the rescue operations.

Nov 26, 2023 2:24 PM IST

Uttarakhand tunnel collapse LIVE updates: Auger blade stuck in rubble

The American auger blade remains stuck in the rubble as the plasma machine shipped from Hyderabad has started cutting into the metal to free the machine, pushing the rescue operations further.

Nov 26, 2023 1:56 PM IST

Uttarakhand tunnel collapse LIVE updates: When will workers be freed?

The trapped workers in the Uttarakhand tunnel collapse mishap are expected to be freed in the next 24-36 hours, according to the agencies. The vertical drilling has commenced, and if all goes to plan, this will be the final phase of the operation.

Nov 26, 2023 1:21 PM IST

Vertical drill, plasma machine in action in Uttarkashi tunnel rescue ops

The vertical drill machine and the plasma machine from Hyderabad are working to remove the auger machine and drill the escape route for the 41 trapped workers.

Nov 26, 2023 12:39 PM IST

Uttarakhand tunnel collapse LIVE updates: Vertical drilling begins

Nov 26, 2023 12:03 PM IST

Uttarakhand tunnel collapse LIVE updates: Indian Army to join ops

After 15 days of struggle, the Indian Army is set to join the rescue operations for 41 workers trapped in the collapsed Uttarkashi tunnel. The Army officials will step in to cut out the pieces of the stuck auger.

Nov 26, 2023 11:55 AM IST

Uttarakhand tunnel collapse LIVE updates: Auger machine stuck

The American auger machine is reportedly stuck inside the debris of the collapsed tunnel. The auger struck a metallic grinder during horizontal drilling, after which rescue operations were stopped.

Nov 26, 2023 11:34 AM IST

Uttarakhand tunnel collapse LIVE updates: Plasma machine at work

CM Pushkar Singh Dhami said that the plasma machine from Hyderabad is at work since Sunday morning, and is in process of cutting out the auger machine after it broke down.

Nov 26, 2023 11:07 AM IST

Uttarakhand tunnel collapse LIVE updates: 14m left to be drilled

During his inspection of the situation, Uttarakhand CM Pushkar Singh Dhami said that there is 14 metres of rubble still left to be cut.

Nov 26, 2023 10:50 AM IST

Uttarakhand tunnel collapse LIVE updates: Protection umbrella laid down

A protection umbrella is being laid inside the Silkyara tunnel, where 41 workers have been trapped for two weeks, to put up protection for the rescue team, official sources said.

Nov 26, 2023 10:27 AM IST

Uttarakhand tunnel collapse LIVE updates: Rescue ops in 24 hours

NDMA has said that the rescue operations will commence in the next 24-36 hours, with the equipment to conduct vertical drilling into the rubble being prepared at Silkyara.

Nov 26, 2023 9:50 AM IST

Confirmed: Vertical drilling in Uttarakhand tunnel site to begin today

Officials have confirmed that the vertical drilling of the Uttarakhand tunnel collapse site will commence today, but the overall rescue “could take a long time.”

Nov 26, 2023 9:32 AM IST

Uttarakhand tunnel collapse LIVE updates: IAF delivers critical tools

The Indian Air Force flew in critical equipment required in the rescue operations, delivering the essential tools to Dehradun. The equipment will soon reach Silkyara, Uttarkashi.

Nov 26, 2023 9:12 AM IST

Uttarakhand tunnel collapse LIVE updates: New drilling machine in Silkyara

The new drilling machine has arrived in Uttarkashi's Silkyara to continue the rescue operations, replacing the American auger. The machine will start drilling downwards, most likely by Sunday afternoon.

Nov 26, 2023 8:45 AM IST

Uttarakhand tunnel collapse LIVE updates: Manual efforts needed

Agencies have said that for the final few feet of rubble, manual efforts will be needed to drill through the area in order the push the steel pipe in. The workers will then be wheeled out of the area.

Nov 26, 2023 8:21 AM IST

Uttarakhand tunnel collapse LIVE updates: PM Modi keeping close eye

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is keeping a close eye on the rescue operations in Uttarkashi, and has ensured the assistance of all central agencies to CM Pushkar Singh Dhami amid the final phase of the operations.

Nov 26, 2023 8:11 AM IST

Uttarakhand tunnel collapse LIVE updates: Rescue may take ‘long time’

NDMA has said that the completion of the rescue operations can take a “long time” as there have been repeated snags in the drilling, and manual drilling can take a long time.

Nov 26, 2023 7:52 AM IST

Uttarakhand tunnel collapse LIVE updates: Landline for trapped workers

As the rescue operations have reached Day 15, telecom company BSNL has said that they will make arrangements to provide landlines for the trapped workers so that they can maintain communication from the relief teams and their families.

Nov 26, 2023 7:23 AM IST

Uttarakhand tunnel collapse LIVE updates: Manual drilling last resort

If the vertical drilling machine fails, similar to the auger, agencies have said that they will resort to manual drilling in the rescue operations, which will take another 18-24 hours.

Nov 26, 2023 7:22 AM IST

Uttarakhand tunnel collapse LIVE updates: Drilling to resume on Sunday

The vertical drilling of the tunnel rubble to rescue 41 trapped workers is set to resume from today, as the machine has arrived on site after the American auger broke down beyond repair.

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