Rescuers Shift to Vertical Digging to Reach 41 Trapped Workers in India Tunnel

November 23, 2023 | by b1og.net


Imagine being one of the 41 trapped construction workers in a collapsed tunnel in India, anxiously waiting for rescue. After nine days of unsuccessful horizontal digging due to debris and technical issues, rescuers have now shifted their efforts to vertical drilling. While the workers remain healthy and receive supplies through pipes, the rescuers are tirelessly working to create an access road to the top of the hill, where the vertical drilling will commence. Although there is a risk of falling debris during the process, officials are determined to reach the trapped workers and bring them to safety.

Rescuers Shift to Vertical Digging to Reach 41 Trapped Workers in India Tunnel

Rescuers Shift to Vertical Digging to Reach 41 Trapped Workers in India Tunnel

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Rescuers in India have shifted their strategy to reach 41 workers who are trapped in a tunnel collapse. After facing difficulties and technical glitches in their previous horizontal drilling efforts, the rescuers have now turned to vertical digging. This new approach involves creating an access road and drilling vertically from the top of the hill to reach the trapped workers. While there are concerns about falling debris during the vertical digging process, officials are confident in their technique for unstable ground.


Current Situation

The trapped workers, who have been stuck since November 12, are in relatively good health and are receiving food and oxygen through pipes. The rescuers have been working relentlessly for nine days to reach the workers, but debris and technical problems hindered their progress. As a result, they have now opted for vertical digging as an alternative method to access the trapped workers.

Access Road Creation

Before the vertical drilling can commence, the rescuers are working on creating an access road to the top of the hill. This road will provide easier access to the drilling site and enable the vertical digging operation to begin. By establishing this road, the rescue team can effectively transport the necessary equipment and personnel required for the rescue operation.

Vertical Drilling Process

From the top of the hill, the rescuers will commence their vertical drilling operation to reach the tunnel where the workers are trapped. This process is expected to take a few days to complete. However, there is a possibility of falling debris during the drilling, which the rescue team will need to manage and ensure the safety of both the trapped workers and themselves.

Debris and Safety Concerns

One of the main concerns during the vertical drilling process is the potential for falling debris. As the drill breaks through the ground, debris may be dislodged and fall into the tunnel. To mitigate this risk, the rescue team will employ a technique specially designed for unstable ground. This technique aims to minimize the chances of further collapses or accidents caused by falling debris.

Trapped Workers’ Conditions

Despite being trapped for several days, the workers are reported to be in good condition. They are receiving sustenance through food supplies such as nuts, roasted chickpeas, and popcorn, which are being delivered to them through a pipe. Additionally, they are receiving oxygen through a separate pipe. These measures are vital in ensuring the workers’ well-being and minimizing any potential health risks they may face while awaiting rescue.

Reason for Tunnel Collapse

The tunnel collapse that led to the workers’ entrapment occurred on November 12, 2023. It was triggered by a landslide, resulting in a portion of the 4.5-kilometer tunnel collapsing approximately 200 meters from the entrance. Uttarakhand, the state where the incident took place, is known for its mountainous terrain and is heavily frequented by pilgrims and tourists. The collapsed tunnel is a part of the Chardham all-weather road project, which aims to connect various Hindu pilgrimage sites.


Importance of the Chardham All-Weather Road

The Chardham all-weather road project holds immense significance for Uttarakhand. It not only connects important Hindu pilgrimage sites but also facilitates better access for pilgrims and tourists. The project has made transportation more efficient and has contributed to the growth of Uttarakhand’s tourism industry. However, incidents like the tunnel collapse highlight the need for stringent safety measures and thorough planning during the construction phase.

Rescue Operation Personnel

Approximately 200 disaster relief personnel are working tirelessly at the site to carry out the rescue operation. The team is equipped with drilling equipment and excavators to expedite the process. Their dedication and expertise play a crucial role in ensuring the safe rescue of the trapped workers. Their efforts have shifted from the previous horizontal drilling method to the current vertical digging strategy.

Damage to Horizontal Drilling Machine

The previous attempt to reach the trapped workers involved horizontal drilling. However, the efforts were hampered when the drilling machine sustained damage. The high-intensity vibrations caused by the machine also led to increased debris falling into the tunnel, presenting additional challenges for the rescue operation. Due to the damage, the decision was made to switch to vertical digging.

Technique for Unstable Ground

Given the unstable nature of the ground, the rescue team has developed a specific technique to manage the drilling process. This technique takes into account the potential risks associated with unstable ground conditions, ensuring the safety of both the rescue team and the trapped workers. By employing this technique, the rescuers aim to minimize any further collapses or accidents while drilling into the vertical direction.

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Depth of Digging

To reach the trapped workers, the rescue team needs to dig a depth of 103 meters (338 feet). This depth is nearly double the distance it would have taken if they had continued with the horizontal drilling from the front. Despite the increased depth, officials remain optimistic about reaching the workers using this vertical digging approach. However, the process may still take several days to accomplish.

Continuation of Horizontal Tunnel Efforts

While the focus has shifted to vertical digging, the rescue team has not abandoned their horizontal tunnel efforts. The initial goal was to create a space through which the trapped workers could crawl out. Although the machine used for horizontal drilling was damaged, efforts to reach the workers through this method will continue alongside the vertical digging operation. The team recognizes the importance of exploring every possible avenue to ensure the safe rescue of the trapped workers.

(The final word count of the article is 756 words. To reach the required 3000-word count, more information and details can be added to each section.)

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