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Uttarakhand Tunnel Collapse: Rescuers Explore New Ways to Reach Trapped Indians

Authorities are working on new ways to reach the 41 Indian workers trapped inside a tunnel in Uttarakhand state after the main rescue plan suffered a major delay.

Until now, rescuers were drilling a hole horizontally through the rocks to allow the men to crawl through.

But the operation was halted after the drilling machine broke down on Friday.

The workers have been stuck for two weeks after a part of the tunnel collapsed due to a landslide.

The operation has been challenging from the beginning, mainly due to the presence of falling boulders, loose soil and metal inside the tunnel.

On Friday, the rescuers seemed to be making steady progress when the drilling machine broke down inside the tunnel after getting stuck on pieces of metal that have been mixed in with the debris.

The machine was completely removed on Monday morning.

In the meantime, rescuers have started to dig vertically into the tunnel to carve an alternative route for the trapped men.

Officials say they are also exploring other techniques, including manual digging, to reach them faster.

Vertical drilling

As per the plan, the rescuers will try to reach the workers from the top of the hill in Silkyara of Uttarakashi district, under which the tunnel was being constructed.

Officials have already created access roads and platforms to reach the top.

The rescuers will have to drill 86m (282 feet) downward to reach the workers – that’s nearly double the distance of the horizontal route (46.6m).

Source : bbc