The first video of the workers who are trapped in the Silkyara tunnel collapse showed them smiling and in a stable state of mind, as the rescue operation continued for the 10th day on Tuesday. The rescue teams have been working tirelessly to reach them and establish contact with them. The workers were given a walkie-talkie through a 6-inch pipeline to communicate with the rescuers. One of the trapped workers was identified as Saba.
In the video, the rescue team asked Saba to hold the walkie-talkie and name each trapped worker. The voice of the trapped worker was not clear but he looked healthy in the video. The workers were also provided with breakfast, which was prepared for them and sent through the 6-inch pipeline.
The rescue team achieved a significant milestone on Monday evening by laying a 6-inch pipe through which solid food and mobile chargers were sent inside the collapsed section of the Silkyara Tunnel. The rescuers also checked the health status of each worker through the communication device. For the first time since the incident, hot Khichdi was delivered to the workers through this pipeline.
Another major breakthrough was achieved as the rescuers reached the tunnel with a vertical drilling machine from the hilltop above the tunnel. This development comes as 41 labourers remain trapped inside the tunnel. It took 13 hours and 3 vehicles to bring this machine, Harbanz, the driver who brought parts of the drilling machine, told ANI.
The collapse occurred on November 12 during the construction of a tunnel from Silkyara to Barkot, trapping 41 labourers due to a muck fall in a 60-metre stretch on the Silkyara side of the tunnel. The workers are believed to be trapped in a 2 km-built tunnel section, which is complete with concrete work that provides safety to the workers.
This section of the tunnel has access to electricity and water. Multiple agencies are working on the rescue efforts with the National Highway Infrastructure Development Corporation limited (NHIDCL) teams continuing the drilling effort from the mouth of the tunnel. The Rail Vikas Nigam Limited (RVNL) is working on another vertical pipeline for the supply of essential items.
The Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam Limited (SJVNL) has brought a heavy drilling machine and is now at the tunnel site to being the vertical drilling operation. International Tunnelling Association President Arnold Dix is also at the operation site to aid in the rescue efforts.
Rescuers see hope in trapped workers’ smiles as they send food and phone chargers to trapped workers who smiled in first video.