India’s tunnel rescue: First video of trapped workers released; families heave a sigh of relief
The workers, who are from various states of the country wearing yellow and white helmets, are seen receiving food items sent to them through the pipeline and talking to each other.
Rescue officials establish audio-visual contact with the workers trapped in the Silkyara tunnel for the first time through the pipeline and endoscopic flexi camera, in Uttarkashi in the northern Indian state of Uttarakhand on Tuesday, November 21, 2023. (ANI Photo)
RESCUE officials on Tuesday (21) released the first video of the workers trapped inside the Silkyara tunnel in Uttarkashi district of the northern Indian state of Uttarakhand for 10 days.
The visuals were captured using an endoscopic camera sent in through the alternative 6-inch pipeline, which was pushed in through the rubble of the collapsed tunnel on Monday (20).
The camera was sent in after it came from Delhi late on Monday evening. In the video, the workers, who are from various states of the country wearing yellow and white helmets, are seen receiving food items sent to them through the pipeline and talking to each other. This comes as a big relief to the families of these workers.
Director of India’s National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited Anshu Manish Khalkho had earlier said that cameras would be inserted through the pipeline to see how the workers were doing. Rescue operations are being carried out on a war footing since portions of the tunnel collapsed following a landslide early on November 12, leaving 41 workers trapped behind a huge mound of debris.
Till Monday, a four-inch existing tube was being used to supply oxygen and items such as dry fruits and medicines into the section of the tunnel beyond the rubble of the collapsed portion.
The six-inch pipeline will allow rescuers to send in larger quantities of food. According to officials, food items like porridge, khichdi, sliced apples and bananas can be sent in through the new pipeline.
Also, mobile phones and chargers could be sent to the workers.
The Silkyara tunnel, about 30 kilometres from the district headquarters of Uttarkashi, is part of the ambitious Char Dham all-weather road project of the federal government.