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Uttarakhand tunnel collapse highlights: Manual drilling begins, PM Modi prays for safe evacuation

The vertical drilling in Uttarakhand tunnel collapse rescue operations is still underway, with over 86 metres still left to be dug out.
Rescue personnel work at the collapsed under construction Silkyara tunnel in the Uttarkashi district of India's Uttarakhand state, on November 27, 2023.
Rescue personnel work at the collapsed under construction Silkyara tunnel in the Uttarkashi district of India's Uttarakhand state, on November 27, 2023.

Uttarakhand tunnel collapse highlights: The vertical drilling to rescue the 41 trapped workers in the collapsed section of the Uttarkashi tunnel is currently underway, with the agencies exploring multiple plans on the 16th day of the operations. The vertical drilling of the hill in Silkyara commenced on Sunday afternoon, with around 110 meters of the hill to be dug out for the rescue of the trapped workers. In a fast-paced operation, the machine has already drilled 20 meters of the hill, with around 86 meters still left....Read More

The vertical drilling machine was brought in after the American auger was unsuccessful in the horizontal drilling of the tunnel, and eventually got stuck in the metal grinder in the middle of the operation. Here are the top points from the rescue mission.

  • In the first 12 hours of the rescue mission, the vertical drilling machine has already drilled 20 meters into the ground, making the operation fast-paced.
  • The vertical drilling machine is making fast progress from the top of the hill, while the plasma machine flown in from Hyderabad is cutting out the auger machine from the pipe on the side of the tunnel.
  • The trapped men are being provided fresh cooked food, water and medical supplies through a small 6-inch tunnel inserted into the rubble.
  • The 41 trapped workers, once the vertical drilling is complete, will be airlifted out of the collapsed tunnel using a chopper and a harness rope.
  • It is expected that the rescue operations will take another 24 hours, with the final phase of the mission currently in motion.

Follow all the updates here:
Nov 27, 2023 10:54 PM IST

Uttarakhand tunnel collapse LIVE updates: Rat-hole mining experts called in for drilling through tunnel debris, vertical boring makes headway

Twelve rat-hole mining experts will be involved in manual drilling and excavation horizontally through the last 10- or 12-metre stretch of debris of the collapsed portion of the under-construction tunnel on Uttarakhand's Char Dham route.

This drilling was earlier being carried out by a huge auger machine that got stuck in the rubble on Friday, forcing officials to focus on an alternative option -- drilling down from above the tunnel. About 40 per cent of the 86-metre vertical drilling required is now done.

Nov 27, 2023 10:38 PM IST

Despite challenges, efforts on to rescue trapped workers in U'khand: PM Modi

"When we are praying to God today and talk about human welfare, then we have to pray for all those worker brothers who have been trapped inside a tunnel in Uttarakhand for the past two weeks," PM Modi said.

"But, we have to complete this relief and rescue operation with lot of alertness. Nature is continuously giving us challenges in this effort. But, we are standing firm. We are making efforts round-the-clock. We have to pray for the safe evacuation of those workers and to do it as early as possible," he added.

Nov 27, 2023 9:32 PM IST

Uttarakhand tunnel collapse LIVE updates: PM Narendra Modi prays for safe evacuation

At Hyderabad, PM Modi said he prays for safe evacuation of 41 workers trapped in Uttarakhand tunnel.

Nov 27, 2023 8:15 PM IST

Uttarakhand tunnel collapse LIVE updates: Vertical drilling 36 metres done

Mahmood Ahmad, additional secretary, MoRTH, said, “36 metres of drilling by SJVNL has been completed. We will have to do it 50 metres more.”

Nov 27, 2023 8:12 PM IST

Uttarakhand tunnel collapse LIVE updates: Manual excavation begins

Neeraj Khairwal, Uttarakhand government secretary, said, “After we removed the parts of the machine which were stuck, the pipeline, which was damaged and had to be cut 1.9 metres, has been pushed in three phases , 0.22 metres, 0.5 metres, 0.2 metres (total 0.9 metres) using the rat mining technique (manual excavation) in last two hours. The speed of pushing the pipeline can vary…”

Nov 27, 2023 7:51 PM IST

Uttarakhand tunnel collapse LIVE updates: ‘We won’t have to go for alternative,’ official says on manual drilling

Nov 27, 2023 7:45 PM IST

Uttarakhand tunnel collapse LIVE updates: Top delegation visits site

A delegation led by Principal Secretary to Prime Minister, Pramod Kumar Mishra took stock of ongoing efforts to rescue 41 trapped workers in the Silkyara tunnel in Uttarkashi on the 16th day of the operations.

Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla and Uttarakhand Chief Secretary SS Sandhu along with Pramod Kumar Mishra inspected the work inside the tunnel.

The Principal Secretary also enquired about the food items sent to the workers trapped inside the tunnel. PK Mishra also spoke to the trapped workers and their families.

Nov 27, 2023 6:26 PM IST

Uttarakhand tunnel collapse LIVE updates: Auger machine debris removed, horizontal drilling to start soon

Microtunneling expert Chris Cooper confirmed today that the auger machine debris has been entirely cleared, paving the way for the initiation of manual drilling within the next few hours to reach the trapped labourers.

Nov 27, 2023 5:52 PM IST

Uttarakhand tunnel collapse LIVE updates: ‘Expecting vertical drilling work in Uttarkashi tunnel to be completed by Nov 30,’ says NHIDCL

National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited (NHIDCL) Managing Director Mahmood Ahmad on Monday informed that the work of the vertical drilling at Uttarkashi tunnel where 41 workers remained trapped will be completed by November 30.

Addressing a press conference in Uttarkashi, Mahmood Ahmad said, "We have completed around 30 meters of drilling. The current machine that has been deployed can drill around 40-45 meters. We have brought two more machines for this purpose. SJVNL has brought those machines. Changeover machines will take time. We are expecting vertical drilling work would be completed by November 30."

Nov 27, 2023 5:19 PM IST

Uttarakhand tunnel collapse LIVE updates: Adani Group clarifies it has no involvement in Uttarkashi tunnel construction

Nov 27, 2023 4:09 PM IST

Uttarakhand tunnel collapse LIVE updates: Robots to monitor mental well-being of trapped workers

With the rescue operations making swift progress, robotics expert Milind Raj on Monday said that the mental well-being of trapped workers will be monitored through robots, adding that they are using homegrown indigenous technology for the same.

"I am here for the mental well-being of the 41 workers stuck in the Silkyara tunnel. This is a homegrown indigenous technology. Now the robots will monitor their mental health. We have systems to monitor the health of workers round-the-clock," Milind Raj said.

"Internet service will also be provided. This rescue robotic system will help detect hazardous gases inside, like methane," he added.

The robotic expert said that he held discussions with the officials engaged in the rescue operations regarding the ongoing rescue operation, adding that the team will implement the best possible solutions.

"This robotic system has three things. It has a gas detection system; apart from this, it will provide internet service and also monitor the health of the trapped labourers from a distance of 100 metres from its position," he said.

"With the help of this, we can work to improve their mental condition. Before this, a building had collapsed in Lucknow, in which 14 people were saved alive. We used the same robotic system in the operations," he added.

Nov 27, 2023 3:42 PM IST

Uttarakhand tunnel collapse LIVE updates: Former Army Engineer-in-Chief vouches for manual method to reach trapped labourers

"There is no other way left except the manual method and this is also the safe one through which we can reach the labourers. In the current situation, the Auger machine that was stuck has been removed. Efforts are underway to remove the 1.5 meters of the damaged pipe. After its removal, strengthening and muck clearance, skilled labourers will go in with the help of the army. We hope this will be done soon," Lt. Gen Harpal Singh (retd) said.

Nov 27, 2023 3:28 PM IST

Uttarakhand tunnel collapse LIVE updates: Should not see as vertical drilling vs. horizontal drilling, says official

On Silkyara tunnel rescue, Mahmood Ahmad, MD- National Highways & Infrastructure Development Corp Ltd said, "We are working on multiple options simultaneously. We should not see this as vertical drilling vs horizontal drilling. Our aim is to rescue the men."

ANI

Nov 27, 2023 3:09 PM IST

Uttarakhand tunnel collapse LIVE updates: Principal secretary to PM, union home secretary, Uttarakhand chief secretary visit site

A delegation led by Principal Secretary to Prime Minister, Pramod Kumar Mishra took stock of ongoing efforts to rescue 41 trapped workers in Silkyara tunnel in Uttarkashi on the 16th day of the operations.

Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla and Uttarakhand Chief Secretary SS Sandhu along with Pramod Kumar Mishra inspected the work inside the tunnel.

The Principal Secretary also enquired about the food items sent to the workers trapped inside the tunnel. PK Mishra also spoke to the trapped workers and their families.

Nov 27, 2023 2:21 PM IST

Uttarakhand tunnel collapse LIVE updates: Principal Secretary to PM takes stock of the situation

Nov 27, 2023 2:00 PM IST

Uttarakhand tunnel collapse LIVE updates: 70 meters drilling left

Around 70 meters of vertical drilling is left, after which a pipe will be inserted in the tunnel to lift out the trapped workers.

Nov 27, 2023 1:35 PM IST

Uttarakhand tunnel collapse LIVE updates: Rain alert in Uttarkashi

The weather department has issued a rainfall alert in Uttarkashi, which might delay the start of manual drilling on the tunnel collapse site.

Nov 27, 2023 1:26 PM IST

Uttarakhand tunnel collapse LIVE updates: Rain poses fresh challenge

The rain can pose a new challenge in the rescue operations of the Uttarakhand tunnel collapse, as it can potentially hamper the vertical drilling of the rubble.

Nov 27, 2023 12:50 PM IST

Uttarakhand tunnel collapse LIVE updates: 31 metres vertical drilling complete

In major progress, 31 metres of vertical drilling is now complete, and the manual drilling is set to commence soon.

Nov 27, 2023 12:15 PM IST

Uttarakhand tunnel collapse LIVE updates: Centre takes stock of rescue ops

Principal Secretary to the PM Pramod Kumar Mishra, Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla and Uttarakhand Chief Secy SS Sandhu have arrived at the Uttarakhand tunnel collapse site to take stock of the situation.

Nov 27, 2023 11:47 AM IST

Uttarakhand tunnel collapse LIVE updates: Manual drilling to start soon

A team of rat miners has been assembled to start the manual drilling of the collapsed tunnel, in supervision of the Indian Army.

Nov 27, 2023 11:15 AM IST

Uttarakhand tunnel collapse LIVE updates: Damaged pipe being removed

After the removal of the auger machine, the damaged pipe is being removed from the tunnel, said the officials.

Nov 27, 2023 10:47 AM IST

Uttarakhand tunnel collapse LIVE updates: Damaged auger parts removed

The damaged parts of the auger machine have sucesfully been removed from the tunnel, taking the rescuers one step closer to the trapped workers.

Nov 27, 2023 10:26 AM IST

Uttarakhand tunnel collapse LIVE updates: Vertical drilling to be over soon

Authorities have said that if no obstructions are faced by the team, the vertical drilling of the tunnel may be over by Thursday this week.

Nov 27, 2023 9:55 AM IST

Uttarakhand tunnel collapse LIVE updates: Workers to be rescued by buckets

After the pipe is successfully installed into the tunnel after vertical drilling, the trapped workers will be lifted using buckets dropped into the pipe, one by one.

Nov 27, 2023 9:27 AM IST

Uttarakhand tunnel collapse LIVE updates: Food, water supply steady

Hot food and fresh water is being supplied to the 41 trapped workers in the Uttarkashi tunnel steadily through the 6-inch supply pipe.

Nov 27, 2023 9:06 AM IST

Uttarakhand tunnel collapse LIVE updates: Sideways drilling explored

If vertical drilling ops hit a snag on Monday, the officials are also exploring the option of commencing sideways drilling after removing the stuck auger.

Nov 27, 2023 8:48 AM IST

Uttarakhand tunnel collapse LIVE updates: What next in rescue ops

It is expected that the vertical drilling will be complete in the next 12-24 hours, with the workers likely to be airlifted out of a steel pipe. They will be rushed to a nearby medical facility with a team of doctors on standby.

Nov 27, 2023 8:35 AM IST

Uttarakhand tunnel collapse LIVE updates: What if drilling fails?

In the 6 plans mapped out by the agencies on Uttarakhand tunnel collapse rescue mission, it has been stated that if vertical drilling fails, they will resort to sideways drilling or drift technology to get the workers out.

Nov 27, 2023 8:16 AM IST

Uttarakhand tunnel collapse LIVE updates: Indian Army joins ops

The Indian Army has joined the rescue operations for the Uttarakhand tunnel mishap, with the officers set to manually drill out the pieces of the American auger from the rubble.

Nov 27, 2023 7:57 AM IST

Uttarakhand tunnel collapse LIVE updates: Manual digging last resort

As a last resort, the rescue workers will likely commence the manual drilling of the tunnel the remove the pieces of the broken drill from the rubble.

Nov 27, 2023 7:38 AM IST

Uttarakhand tunnel collapse LIVE updates: Only 86m left

With just 86 meters of vertical drilling left, it is likely that the rescue operations will be over by tomorrow morning. After digging through the tunnel, rescuers will be airlifting the trapped workers out.

Nov 27, 2023 7:25 AM IST

Uttarakhand tunnel collapse LIVE updates: Fast paced vertical drilling

On Day 1 of vertical drilling, the machine has already dug through 20 metres of rubble, with just about 86 m left for the machine to drill through for the rescue of the trapped workers.

Nov 27, 2023 9:27 AM IST

Uttarakhand tunnel collapse LIVE updates: Food, water supply steady

Hot food and fresh water is being supplied to the 41 trapped workers in the Uttarkashi tunnel steadily through the 6-inch supply pipe.

Nov 27, 2023 9:06 AM IST

Uttarakhand tunnel collapse LIVE updates: Sideways drilling explored

If vertical drilling ops hit a snag on Monday, the officials are also exploring the option of commencing sideways drilling after removing the stuck auger.

Nov 27, 2023 8:48 AM IST

Uttarakhand tunnel collapse LIVE updates: What next in rescue ops

It is expected that the vertical drilling will be complete in the next 12-24 hours, with the workers likely to be airlifted out of a steel pipe. They will be rushed to a nearby medical facility with a team of doctors on standby.

Nov 27, 2023 8:35 AM IST

Uttarakhand tunnel collapse LIVE updates: What if drilling fails?

In the 6 plans mapped out by the agencies on Uttarakhand tunnel collapse rescue mission, it has been stated that if vertical drilling fails, they will resort to sideways drilling or drift technology to get the workers out.

Nov 27, 2023 8:16 AM IST

Uttarakhand tunnel collapse LIVE updates: Indian Army joins ops

The Indian Army has joined the rescue operations for the Uttarakhand tunnel mishap, with the officers set to manually drill out the pieces of the American auger from the rubble.

Nov 27, 2023 7:57 AM IST

Uttarakhand tunnel collapse LIVE updates: Manual digging last resort

As a last resort, the rescue workers will likely commence the manual drilling of the tunnel the remove the pieces of the broken drill from the rubble.

Nov 27, 2023 7:38 AM IST

Uttarakhand tunnel collapse LIVE updates: Only 86m left

With just 86 meters of vertical drilling left, it is likely that the rescue operations will be over by tomorrow morning. After digging through the tunnel, rescuers will be airlifting the trapped workers out.

Nov 27, 2023 7:25 AM IST

Uttarakhand tunnel collapse LIVE updates: Fast paced vertical drilling

On Day 1 of vertical drilling, the machine has already dug through 20 metres of rubble, with just about 86 m left for the machine to drill through for the rescue of the trapped workers.