Uttarakhand tunnel collapse: Meet team behind rescue ops to evacuate 41 trapped workers
Dozens of officers, workers, and foreign experts are currently in Uttarakhand, overseeing the rescue operation to extract the men trapped in Uttarkashi tunnel.
The Uttarakhand tunnel rescue mission is just a few hours away from being deemed a success, with a breakthrough in the rubble achieved and the 41 workers trapped inside the tunnel set to be extracted after 17 days.
The entire nation has been keeping close tabs on the operation, with Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami and several officers from the PMO making regular visitations to the rescue site of the Uttarkashi tunnel collapse.
The NDRF, SDRF, Indian Army and other state and central agencies have been deployed at the site, with a few people playing a major role in the rescue mission of the 41 trapped workers. Here is a look inside the rescue team of the Uttarakhand tunnel extraction mission.
Uttarakhand tunnel collapse: Meet the rescue team
IAS officer Neeraj Khairwal
IAS officer Neeraj Khairwal was tasked with being the Nodal officer of Silkyara tunnel collapse mishap, and has been overseeing and commanding the rescue operations since the last 10 days. Khairwal has been giving updates to the CMO and PMO from the rescue site by the hour. He is also a Secretary in the Uttarakhand government.
Micro-tunnelling expert Chris Cooper
Chris Cooper is a micro-tunnelling expert with decades of experience, who arrived at the site of the tunnel collapse on November 18. Cooper is a Chartered Engineer with specialisation in civil engineering infrastructure, Metro tunnels, Large Caverns, Dams, Railway, and Mining Projects. He is also the international consultant for the Rishikesh Karnprayag rail project.
Lt Gen Syed Ata Hasnain (Retd), member, NDRF
Retired Lieutenant General of the Indian Army and member of the NDMA team Syed Ata Hasnain has been overseeing the role of the National Disaster Management Authority in the Uttarakhand tunnel collapse. Lt Gen Hasnain was formerly a member of the GOC 15 corps of the Indian Army, deployed in Srinagar.
Tunnelling expert Arnold Dix
Scientific researcher and underground tunnelling expert Arnold Dix has been on the Uttarakhand tunnel collapse rescue site since the first few days, supervising the use of the American auger for horizontal drilling of the tunnel. Dix also conducted an inspection of the rescue site to know the most efficient way for the extraction of the 41 trapped workers.
Team of rat hole mining experts
Six rat hole mining experts were flown in from Madhya Pradesh to oversee the process of micro-tunnelling, manual drilling and conducting the rescue through the narrow 800 mm pipe, laid down to pull out the trapped workers.
State and central agencies, as well as local drilling experts, environment experts, members of the NDRF and SDRF as well as the Indian Army have been deployed at the site of the Uttarakhand tunnel collapse. A team of doctors and a hospital with 41 beds has been kept on standby to make sure that the mission is not hampered by any medical emergency.
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