Drilling at the collapsed Silkyara tunnel to rescue 41 men trapped inside for 15 days resumed at full scale on Tuesday. As per the latest update, the drilling is over and the workers are expected to come out anytime now.
Vertical drilling in the morning on the hill was stopped and manual drilling was going on successfully inside the tunnel. To ensure that there is no hindrance in the drilling work below, vertical drilling has been stopped. Meanwhile, the process of changing machines in vertical drilling is being completed, officials said.
During the operation, several hindrances were faced. However, it is hoped that today (November 28), the ultimate success will be achieved and all the 41 labourers will be rescued.
During the operation, several hindrances were faced. However, it is hoped that today (November 28), the ultimate success will be achieved and all the 41 labourers will be rescued. The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), State Disaster Response Force (SDRF), Border Roads Organisation (BRO), project executing agency National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited (NHIDCL) and Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) are on the rescue efforts.
A LOOK AT THE TIMELINE:
November 24: Drilling at the collapsed Silkyara tunnel was halted again. Officials said the auger drilling machine faced a hurdle, apparently a metal object a day after officials had put the operation on hold following a technical snag.
November 21: First visuals of the 41 trapped workers emerges. A video clip captured by an endoscopic camera sent in through a new six-inch wide pipeline brought hope to relatives who are camping there for days.
November 18: Drilling does not resume on Saturday as experts feel that the vibrations created by the diesel-driven 1,750-horse power heavy-duty American auger inside the tunnel might cause more debris to collapse. Officials, however, began preparations to drill a vertical hole from the top of the hill.
November 17: The machine drills about 24 metres through the rubble by the afternoon and four MS pipes with a length of six metres each are inserted. The process comes to a halt when the fifth pipe hits an obstacle.
November 16: The high-performance drilling machine is assembled and installed. It starts working past midnight.
November 15: Dissatisfied with the performance of the first drilling machine, the NHIDCL asks for a state-of-the-art American auger machine, which is airlifted from Delhi to speed up the rescue efforts.
November 14: Steel pipes of a diameter of 800 and 900 mm are brought to be inserted through the rubble with the help of an auger machine for horizontal digging.
November 13: Contact is established with the trapped workers through a pipe meant to supply oxygen to them and they are reported to be safe. Rescue efforts continue as Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami visits the site.
November 12: A portion of the under-construction tunnel in Uttarkashi district caved in a fortnight ago, trapping 41 labourers.