In a significant development at the Silkyara tunnel collapse site in Uttarkashi, trapped workers, stuck for 10 days, finally communicated with their relatives. The rescue team successfully established contact through a 6-inch pipeline, providing a ray of hope for the trapped individuals.
Jaidev, one of the workers, spoke in Bangla to assure his mother, saying, “Please record, I will tell something to my maa. ” Maa, tension koroni aami thik achi. Time a kheye nebe. Babakeo time a kheye nite bolbe” (Mother, do not worry about me, I am fine. Please you and father eat your meals on time).” The supervisor reassured them, promising prompt evacuation.
Other trapped workers also communicated with relatives, displaying remarkable patience and courage. Despite the challenging conditions, they urged their families not to worry.
Simultaneously, the Bajrang Dal (Jammu and Kashmir) organized a Havan Yagya for the safety of the 41 trapped workers. Arnold Dix, President of the International Tunnelling and Underground Space Association overseeing the rescue, reported progress in making the 6-inch pipeline fully functional. He emphasized the dangers of the environment and the precision required in the ongoing rescue efforts.
Rescuers inserted an endoscopy camera into the tunnel, revealing that the workers had ample space. The rescue team communicated with them through the pipeline, ensuring their identification and advising on the cleaning process.
Dix mentioned ongoing efforts to drill an evacuation tunnel and create safe spaces within the tunnel. However, he noted that American augur machines were not operational at the moment but were in preparation.
The tunnel collapse occurred on November 12 during construction, trapping 41 workers. They are believed to be in a 2 km-built tunnel portion with access to electricity and water. The rescue team is diligently working to ensure the safety of both the trapped workers and the rescuers involved in the operation.