Even after it was stopped for twenty hours, escape path digging to free the forty-one stranded workers within the Silkyara-Barkot tunnel in Uttarkhand could not be restarted. Yesterday, the operation was suspended.
Now that all obstacles have been removed and no roadblocks have been identified by thermal imaging radar, the rescuers indicate that work will continue uninterrupted.
Drilling activity had stopped on Thursday afternoon, but it had not yet resumed, according to those in charge of rescue efforts at the collapsed tunnel site at the time this story was filed. Iron rods and steel girdles that were impeding the operation of the auger machine were being cut and cleared by NDRF and SDRF experts. In addition, specialists were trying to adjust the auger machine’s launch stage, which was unsteady because of recurring obstacles brought on by the iron girdles under the rubble.
Nonetheless, officials guaranteed that drilling for escape route will go up again as soon as the barriers are taken down. They said that the scientists had also used a specialized radar to examine the debris profile 46 meters forward, where MS steel pipe had already been drilled and inserted. To get to the imprisoned workers, an escape route of around sixty meters must be created.
We’ve been informed that a specialized radar was used to thermally scan the debris profile in order to find any hard obstacles, including metallic ones, along the intended drilling route. “It seems that there are no obstructions in the remaining debris,” Arpan Yaduvanshi, SP Uttarkashi, said in an interview with The Statesman.
After November 22, not much progress was made in the horizontal drilling of the tunnel by the American auger machine at Silkayara village end until 45 meters of work had been finished for the escape path.
But according to Neeraj Khairwal, the Uttarakhand government’s nodal official for the rescue effort, the auger machine’s malfunction caused digging to be halted the same evening. Removing the girdles and starting the drilling again on November 23rd took more than ten hours. The following day, the auger machine stopped drilling once again because additional metallic rods and girdles were on their way.
“Escape passage drilling will proceed unhindered once the obstruction is completely removed, as no further obstacles were picked up by the radar.” Yaduvanshi said, “We are appealing to God to send stranded workers home as quickly as possible.
A section of the tunnel collapsed beneath a landslide on November 12 early in the morning, trapping up to 41 construction workers on the opposite side for almost a month.