Less than 12 hours after the evacuation of two trapped workers by NDRF, the rescue operation at the ill-fated tunnel of Kiratpur-Nerchowk-Manali four-lane project was stopped after fresh cracks developed in the tunnel.
The rescue workers stopped the operation fearing risks to their lives when loose soil started falling on their heads. Deputy Commissioner Mansi Sahay Thakur, who rushed to the spot, ordered the workers to immediately vacate the tunnel.
“I have decided to suspend the rescue operation with immediate effect even though I had called in the Army in the morning to search for the third worker Hriday Ram. Now, the Army has also been told to wait and get technical advice before clearing the debris,” she announced after a meeting with the experts and geologists.
Family members of Hriday Ram, who were at the site, also supported the decision to suspend the rescue operation.
Pankaj, Hriday Ram’s nephew said, “we have told the DC not to put the life of 10-12 people (workers) in danger as soil strata in the tunnel has become unstable. The search for one person can pose danger to the rest of the lives. We do not want any such tragedy to reoccur.”
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