Uttarakhand: 36 workers trapped as tunnel under construction collapses
Efforts are on in Uttarkashi to rescue the trapped workers | PTI photo

Uttarakhand: 36 workers trapped as tunnel under construction collapses

Oxygen pipe inserted into collapsed part of tunnel so that those trapped inside can breathe; drilling machines being used to cut through the debris

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Thirty-six workers were trapped when a part of a tunnel under construction on a national highway in Uttarakhand collapsed on Sunday morning, officials said.

Police and other agencies launched a massive rescue effort following the tragedy between Silkyara and Dandalgaon on the Brahmakhal-Yamunotri highway.

Police, National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) personnel were engaged in the rescue operations.

"The NDRF and SDRF are at the spot. We pray to god for the safe return of everybody," said Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami.

How it happened

Uttarkashi Superintendent of Police Arpan Yaduvanshi said the incident occurred between 6 and 7 am, some 200 metres from the tunnel’s starting point.

The workers were hired by the National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corp Ltd.

Yaduvanshi added that an oxygen pipe had been inserted into the collapsed part so that those trapped would not have difficulty breathing.

Rescue efforts

Drilling machines were being used to cut through the debris.

Food items were also being sent in, he said, adding that the workers would be rescued soon.

But other officials said it could take two to three days to take out the trapped workers.

The tunnel is part of the Char Dham all-weather road project. Its construction will reduce the journey between Uttarkashi to Yamunotri — one of the four major pilgrimage spots — by 26 km.

(With agency inputs)

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