Himachal tunnel collapse: Bigger rig brings fresh hope for trapped men

A team of nearly two dozen engineers and tunnel experts is working round-the-clock inside the tunnel, trying to push a rescue pipe through the debris.

Written by Ashwani Sharma | Bilaspur | Updated: September 18, 2015 2:02:09 am
himachal-tunnel-collapse759 Rescue work in progress on Thursday. (Source: Express photo by Lalit Kumar)

As part of the ongoing operation to rescue three workers trapped inside an under-construction tunnel of Kiratpur-Nerchowk-Manali four-lane project, the company in charge of building the tunnel Thursday launched a high-speed rig to vertically drill through the tunnel. The tunnel had caved in on September 12, trapping three of a group of eight workers who were inside.

A new road was laid to facilitate movement of the rig and heavy machinery on treacherous mountainous terrain where a small bore was dug on Wednesday evening to establish first contact with Satish Tomar, 24, and Mani Ram, 41, two of the three trapped workers.

Efforts are on to make contact with Hridey Ram, who is also trapped inside the tunnel.

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The families of Tomar and Mani Ram, who are camping in the area, were relieved to hear about their response to video-calls, after a small camera was dropped down to record their movements Wednesday.

“My brother is a brave man. He can survive any adverse situation. I am confident that he will come out the tunnel safely. However, our family is anxious to see his face,” said Vinod Tomar, Satish’s brother.

In the daytime, the workers were provided ORS, water, juice, dry fruits and a nutritious diet through a pipeline. A medical team is on standby to monitor their health as the entire rescue operation was likely to take some more time.

A team of nearly two dozen engineers and tunnel experts is working round-the-clock inside the tunnel, trying to push a rescue pipe through the debris.

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