Silkyara Uttarkashi Tunnel Rescue Progress: Hope Rises Amid 50-Meter Mark!
Uttarkashi Tunnel Rescue efforts in the Silkyara, Uttarakhand’s Char Dham route have entered a critical phase as authorities inch closer to reaching trapped workers. Here are the key updates:
1. Current Progress: About 57 metres of drilling work is necessary from the tunnel’s entrance to lay a pipe inside for reaching the trapped workers. As of now, rescuers have crossed the 50-metre mark and are working on excavating approximately seven metres of rubble using specialised mining techniques.
Some of the heroes who successfully rescued 41 of the labourers from the #Uttarkashi tunnel.
— Baba Banaras™ (@RealBababanaras) November 28, 2023
2. Techniques Involved: Rat-hole mining experts, numbering twelve, are actively engaged in horizontally excavating the last stretch of debris—10 to 12 metres—of the collapsed section. This manual drilling work commenced on Monday night.
3. Rescue Strategy: The manual drilling generates debris, which is manually removed using ropes from the rescue pipe. This process, known as rat-hole mining, aims to clear the path to extract the 41 trapped workers safely.
4. Chief Minister’s Update: Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami shared updates stating that around 52 metres of drilling has been completed. Anticipating a breakthrough around 57 metres, he highlighted the reduction in encountering steel girders and the shift towards cutting through concrete.
5. Expert Insights: Micro-tunnelling expert Chris Cooper confirmed the positive advancement, indicating successful progress without obstacles for about 50 metres. He expressed optimism, noting a remaining distance of around five to six metres to cover.
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6. Recent Challenges: Previous drilling using an auger machine was halted due to the machine getting stuck in debris. However, it was later cut and removed, paving the way for the ongoing manual excavation.
7. Rescue Operations: The rescue teams are constructing a passageway using welded pipes to evacuate the trapped workers. Manual digging commenced after the removal of parts from the drilling machine stuck inside the pipes.
8. Work Challenges: The speed of the operation depends on potential hurdles encountered during excavation, which has faced intermittent challenges, affecting the pace.
9. Specialised Techniques: The manual muck removal using rat-hole mining continues, while an auger machine inserts an 800-mm diameter pipe through the rubble.
10. Worker Testimonials: Workers involved in the rescue efforts have highlighted the progress, stating the completion of 51 metres and positive indications for further advancements.
The ongoing efforts aim to ensure the safe extraction of trapped workers in a challenging and critical situation within the tunnel collapse. The collective dedication and expertise exhibited by the rescue teams remain pivotal in achieving a successful breakthrough.
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