Uttarakhand flash floods: No breakthrough yet in rescue operation inside tunnel
Rescue workers in a tunnel of the Tapovan power project, in which about 30 workers are feared trapped after the flash floods of February 7 caused by a glacier burst, in Uttarakhand, on February 11, 2021.IANS

Uttarakhand flash floods: No breakthrough yet in rescue operation inside tunnel

Dehradun, February 11, 2021

Amid repeated disruptions in rescue work, there has been no breakthrough in finding the 25-35 people trapped inside the disaster-hit tunnel of the Tapovan project in Uttarakhand's Chamoli district on Thursday.

The workers were trapped inside a tunnel of the Tapovan hydro-electric project after flash floods caused by a glacier burst on Sunday.

The rescue work was disrupted briefly following increase in flow of Dhauliganga river and technical snags in drilling machines. On the other hand, two more bodies were recovered on Thursday, taking the total to 36. Nearly 200 people have gone missing after the deluge in the region on Sunday morning.

"The rescue work inside the tunnel resumed in the evening after a brief interruption due to increase of flow in Dhauliganga river," said Navneet Bhullar, commandant of the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF), who is camping at the Tapovan site. However, no contact could be established with the trapped people inside so far.

Earlier, the rescue workers had started drilling the tunnel vertically downward. But within hours, the drilling work was also intermittently disrupted due to technical reasons. A few hours later, the flow of Dhauliganga started increasing which in turn disrupted the rescue work.

As the flows subsided, the rescue work again resumed in the evening, said Bhullar.

Ever since the excavation and digging work began inside the tunnel, the rescuers had been working on multi-pronged strategies in their desperate bid to open the blocked tunnel.

The rescuers have also used remote sensing technologies for geographical mapping of the tunnel. "We have used geographical mapping of the disaster-hit tunnel in the operation," said Ridhim Agarwal, DIG, SDRF.

The rescue work had slowed down on Tuesday due to the presence of heavy silt inside the tunnel. State Director General of Police Ashok Kumar had said that all possibilities will be explored to save the lives of the trapped people.

After days of digging and excavation works, jawans of the army, the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and SDRF, who are engaged in the rescue work, had managed open a sizeable portion of the tunnel. But the presence of heavy silt and sludge inside the tunnel slowed down the rescue work, top government officials admitted.

Rescuers have also consulted the NTPC officials to understand the complicated design of the tunnel.

The state government has stated that around 200 people are missing after the disaster, of which 34 bodies have been recovered so far.


Related Stories

No stories found.

Latest Stories

No stories found.

Trending Stories

No stories found.