Uttarakhand tunnel collapse: NDMA warns of potential risk to workers, rescuers amid '2-hour rescue' hope
Uttarkashi tunnel rescue: The official, however, said the operation could be concluded in the next few hours or by tomorrow.
Uttarkashi: A senior member of the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) on Thursday warned the masses against putting pressure on the rescue teams with their expectations of a hasty rescue of the 41 workers trapped in a partially collapsed tunnel in Uttarkashi.
Lt General (retired) Syed Ata Hasnain, addressing a press conference, pointed out that the trapped workers and the rescuers are at equal risk and expecting the rescue operation to be completed in the “next two hours” exerts pressure on the latter. He said the pressure to complete the operation can potentially increase the risk.
"This is challenging work. To keep expecting that the rescue will be done in the next two hours, puts pressure on the workforce. This is wrong. In this situation, both the trapped workers and the rescue team are at risk. We have to take into consideration the safety of both sides," he said.
Uttarkashi rescue: Rescuers adopt five directional approach
The official, however, said the operation could be concluded in the next few hours or by tomorrow.
"Five-directional approach is being taken up. The main approach is the Silkyara approach. Since November 16, progress has been made, but there were some obstacles. On November 22, the operation resumed and is going on. The good news is that the workers are safe and they are in a 2-km long stretch inside the tunnel," he said.
The Uttarkashi administration has arranged for 41 ambulances.
"There are 41 ambulances where 31 ambulances are of '108' while the other 10 have been provided by the administration. Out of 31, 7 are ALS, while others are BLS. ALS stands for Advanced Life Support, and BLS is Basic Life Support. 27 ambulances are here, and there are 5 ambulances near the tunnel. All the ambulances are well equipped, it's like a mini emergency," an official told ANI.
Meanwhile, former advisor to the prime minister's office, Bhaskar Khulbe told the media this morning that it would take around 15 hours to take the workers out of the tunnel.
Atul Karwal, head of the National Disaster Response Force, told reporters that the operation should be successful by the end of the day "if there are no obstacles, rocks or girders".
Dhami speaks with trapped workers
Meanwhile, Uttarakhand chief minister Pushkar Singh Dhami spoke with the trapped men and assured them an early rescue
"We are very close. You all have been very brave. Everyone is praying for you," Pushkar Singh Dhami, the state's chief minister, told Gabbar Singh Negi, one of those trapped, via a wired communication link.
With inputs from PTI, ANI, Reuters