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Hope for Trapped Workers as Hot Meals Reach Them in Collapsed Tunnel

The scenario concerning the 41 construction workers trapped in a collapsed tunnel in northern India has improved.

The situation involving the 41 trapped construction workers in a collapsed tunnel in northern India has seen some progress and challenges in the ongoing rescue operation.

Rescue Efforts and Recent Developments:

After over a week of being trapped, the workers received hot meals, a significant improvement from the dry food sent through a narrower pipe previously used for sustenance. 

This meal-delivery was facilitated through a 6-inch steel pipe newly installed to reach the workers in the rubble.

Despite this positive step, the rescue operation faces hurdles. A drilling machine intended to dig horizontally toward the trapped workers encountered challenges in the mountainous Uttarakhand state, leading to its breakdown. 

The vibrations from the machine caused more debris to fall, prompting a temporary suspension of the rescue efforts.

Current Strategies and Challenges Ahead:

Rescuers are now strategizing to create an access road to the hilltop, from which they plan to dig vertically toward the workers. 

However, this vertical drilling, estimated at a depth of 103 meters (338 feet), presents risks of further debris falling during the process, potentially slowing the rescue timeline.

Simultaneously, efforts to dig horizontally from the tunnel’s mouth continue. The complex terrain and the nature of the collapsed tunnel pose significant challenges to these operations.

Background and Context:

The collapse occurred on November 12 in Uttarakhand, disrupting the construction of a 4.5-kilometer tunnel for the Chardham all-weather road, a federal project aimed at connecting Hindu pilgrimage sites in the region. 

Uttarakhand, known for its Hindu temples and constant construction to accommodate pilgrims and tourists, faces the ongoing rescue operation with significant logistical difficulties.

Approximately 200 disaster relief personnel are actively involved in the rescue operation, utilizing drilling equipment and excavators to navigate the challenging terrain and debris to reach the trapped workers.

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