Uttarakhand Tunnel Collapse: Plasma Cutter Flown From Hyderabad To Cut Auger Machine; Video Shows BSNL Setting Up Telephone Exchange

Uttarakhand Tunnel Collapse: Plasma Cutter Flown From Hyderabad To Cut Auger Machine; Video Shows BSNL Setting Up Telephone Exchange

The plasma cutter machine was brought to the Silkyara tunnel early in the morning. A senior official involved in the rescue operation said some mobile phones have also been sent to the stranded workers so that they can play games.

ANIUpdated: Sunday, November 26, 2023, 11:37 AM IST
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Apart from that, as part of efforts to provide assurance to 41 workers trapped in the Silkyara tunnel and relieve their stress, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) has stepped in to provide them with a landline through which they can talk to their families. | ANI

Uttarakashi: A plasma cutter machine flown from Hyderabad to cut the auger machine that got stuck in the debris of the Silkyara tunnel to rescue 41 workers started working on Sunday morning, officials said. The plasma cutter machine was brought to the Silkyara tunnel early in the morning. The process of removing the auger machine was underway even before the new machine arrived at the site.

No movement in the last 24 hours in the drilling work

National Disaster Management Authority Member, Lt General Syed Ata Hasnain (retired) on Saturday said that there has been no movement in the last 24 hours in the drilling work to rescue the 41 workers trapped in the Uttarkashi tunnel for 13 days.

American-Auger machine was broken

The NDMA member said that a portion of the American-Auger machine was broken, blocking the potential escape route.

"The current update is that (in) the last 24 hours, there hasn't been any movement within this bore tunnel that was being made for the rescue. Because...the Auger machine itself has had a bit of an accident. A portion of it (has actually) broken, and that broken portion has to be pulled out (of the escape pipe)," Hasnain told ANI.

Protection umbrella

Meanwhile, a protection umbrella is being laid inside the Silkyara tunnel, where 41 workers have been trapped for two weeks, to put up protection for the rescue team, official sources said.

Apart from that, as part of efforts to provide assurance to 41 workers trapped in the Silkyara tunnel and relieve their stress, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) has stepped in to provide them with a landline through which they can talk to their families.

Kundan, a BSNL official, said they are in the process of sending a small landline phone to the stranded workers through the pipe. "Through this, they will be able to talk directly to their families," he said.

BSNL has set up a small telephone exchange

He said BSNL has set up a small telephone exchange at the tunnel site and the phone will be connected through a line. A senior official involved in the rescue operation said some mobile phones have also been sent to the stranded workers so that they can play games.

"There is no mobile network nearby but we are also considering providing Wi-Fi connectivity. We are also considering providing a cricket bat and ball to the workers so that they can play cricket. You can spend your time playing because there is a lot of space inside the tunnel where the workers are trapped, so cricket can be played easily," the official said.

After a portion of the tunnel caved in on November 12, the debris falling in the 60-metre stretch on the Silkyara side of the tunnel trapped 41 labourers inside the under-construction structure.

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