Defying odds, a joint rescue team of security personnel on Wednesday continued its struggle to penetrate deeper through tonnes of silt inside the Tapovan tunnel to reach out to 25-35 people trapped inside it following the glacier disaster in Chamoli district of Uttarakhand. The rescue operation at the NTPC hydel project site, which bore the brunt of the disaster, has been going on uninterrupted since Sunday after the sudden flood in the Alaknanda river system in Chamoli that was possibly triggered by an avalanche or glacier burst, with no breakthrough in sight yet.
Measures like drilling to take oxygen to those trapped inside the tunnel are being contemplated, project consultant AK Shrivastava said at the site in Tapovan.
Rescue teams comprising the Army, ITBP, NDRF and SDRF personnel have made little headway beyond 100 metres inside the tunnel as debris has been constantly flowing in, he said.
The complicated design of the tunnel is making the task even more difficult, prompting the rescue teams to consult NTPC officials.
When contacted, Director General of Police Ashok Kumar said all possible efforts will be made to save the lives of those trapped inside the Tapovan tunnel.
As per the latest updates provided by the State Emergency Operation Centre here, 32 bodies have been recovered from different places in the disaster-hit areas while 174 are still missing.
(With PTI inputs)