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Option of manual drilling being considered, ‘no timeline yet’

Rescuers relaxation on the web site of an under-construction street tunnel that collapsed in Silkyara within the northern Indian state of Uttarakhand, Friday, Nov. 24, 2023. – AP

Uttarakhand Silkyara Tunnel Rescue: Efforts to rescue the trapped employees continued because the drilling machine confronted one other setback late on Friday night time. The continuing rescue operations for the 41 employees caught in Uttarakhand’s Silkyara tunnel in Uttarkashi district reached the fourteenth day on Saturday.

Officers mentioned that handbook drilling would begin quickly to chop via the particles separating rescuers from the trapped employees within the collapsed portion of the tunnel. As soon as the US-made, heavy-duty Auger drilling machine is faraway from the pipeline designated for bringing out the trapped employees, handbook drillers will provoke their work, he mentioned.

The employees have been trapped since Nov. 12, when a landslide in mountainous Uttarakhand state brought about a portion of the 4.5-kilometer (2.8-mile) tunnel they had been constructing to break down about 200 meters (650 ft) from the doorway.

Success may quickly be achieved in taking the Auger driller out of the pipeline, officers knowledgeable additional, including that the heavy-duty drillers may now be moved again by 22 metres.

Talking to ANI, a senior official concerned with the rescue operation mentioned handbook drilling may begin quickly. He added that the remaining particles, extending roughly as much as 6 to 9 metres, which stands between the rescuers and the trapped employees, might be eliminated via handbook drilling.

Elaborating on the the explanation why the officers concerned within the rescue operation have determined to take away the Auger from the pipeline, the senior official advised ANI, “While drilling with the US-made Auger machine, if we hit an obstruction every two to three feet, we have to remove it. And, every time we hit an obstruction, we have to roll Auger back 50 metres (up to which the pipeline has been laid). After running repairs, the machine has to be pushed back up to 50 metres, which takes about 5 to 7 hours. This is the reason why the rescue operation is taking longer than it should.”

“The rescue team has now decided that the pipeline will be extended further through manual drilling over small distances. Even if we hit an obstruction further up, the issue could be resolved manually and the pipeline could be extended further without losing out on precious time,” the official added.

He knowledgeable additional that after drilling as much as an additional 5 metres, the rescuers will attain the ultimate few metres that separate them from the trapped employees.

Authorities have been supplying the trapped employees with sizzling meals made from rice and lentils via a 6-inch (15-centimetre) pipe, after days during which they survived on dry meals despatched via a narrower pipe. Oxygen is being provided via a separate pipe.



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