Tunnel collapse in India: Rescue work stopped after the machine broke down

NEW DELHI (AP) – Attempts to reach 41 construction workers Stuck in a collapsed tunnel in northern India for two weeks it was struck again on Saturday.

Rescuers were working manually to remove the rubble after the drilling machine they were using broke down the previous day while making their way through the debris of rocks, stones and metal, but the process stopped on Saturday.

Arnold Dix, an international expert assisting the rescue team at the accident site in Uttarakhand state, said it was unclear when it would be possible to start digging again.

“The machine has been seized. It is beyond repair,” he told reporters. “The mountain has once again resisted the auger (the machine).”

It was the workers Besieged since November 12 when a landslide caused a section of the 4.5 km (2.8 mi) long tunnel to collapse about 200 meters (650 ft) from the entrance. The mountainous terrain in the area proved to be a challenge for the drilling machine, which had previously broken twice when rescue teams attempted to dig horizontally towards the trapped workers.

The machine stopped working after excavating about 2 meters (6.5 feet) of the last 12-meter (40 feet) stretch of rock debris that will open a passage for workers to exit the tunnel.

Rescuers inserted pipes into the excavated canal and welded them together to serve as a passageway where the men would be pulled out on wheeled stretchers. About 46 meters (151 feet) of pipes have been laid so far, according to Devendra Patwal, a disaster management official.

At the same time, a new drilling machine was used Drill vertically He was transported to the accident site on Saturday.

Vertical drilling is seen as an alternative plan to reach the trapped men, and rescuers have already created a route to the top of the hill. However, rescue teams will need to dig 103 meters (338 feet) deep to reach the trapped workers, nearly twice the distance of the horizontal shaft.

And the authorities supplied Trapped Workers are served hot meals made of rice and lentils through a 6-inch (15 cm) diameter tube after days of surviving on dry food sent through a narrower tube. Oxygen is provided through a separate tube, and more than a dozen doctors, including psychiatrists, were at the scene to monitor their health.

Most of the trapped workers are migrant workers from all over the country. Many of their families traveled to the accident site, where they camped out for several days to get updates on rescue efforts and in hopes of seeing their relatives soon.

The tunnel that the workers were building was designed as part of the all-weather Chardham Road, which will connect various Hindu pilgrimage sites. Some experts say the project, a pioneering initiative of the federal government, It will get worse Fragile conditions in the upper Himalayas, where many towns are built on top of landslide debris.

Large numbers of pilgrims and tourists visit the numerous Hindu temples in Uttarakhand, and the number is increasing over the years due to the continued construction of buildings and roads.

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