Rescue ops at Uttarkashi tunnel in final stage; doctors, ambulances on standby

In a race against time, rescue teams are approaching the final stages of their mission to rescue 41 workers trapped inside a collapsed tunnel in Uttarakhand. Girish Singh Rawat, a member of the rescue team, reported early on Thursday that the operation was advancing towards its conclusion, with expectations of obtaining results within the next 1-2 hours.

\”We are in the last phase of the rescue operation; I expect to see results within 1-2 hours. A pipeline is being inserted for the workers\’ extraction, and the steel pieces entangled in the debris have been cut and removed,\” stated Rawat.

The demanding operation faced various challenges, including the discovery of steel rods embedded in the debris inside the tunnel while inserting pipes through horizontal drilling.

\”We encountered steel rods in the debris that the machine couldn\’t cut. NDRF personnel will handle the cutting, after which we will resume using the machine,\” explained Harpal Singh, the project head of Zoji-la tunnel, providing assistance in the Silkyara rescue operations.

Speaking to reporters late on Wednesday night, Singh mentioned that the process was expected to take 1-1.30 hours. Additionally, two pipes, each 6 meters in length, were to be inserted through horizontal drilling to assist in evacuating the trapped workers.

\”I am optimistic that the trapped workers will be rescued by 8 am tomorrow,\” Singh added.

A National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) team was seen entering the tunnel in the evening, according to PTI.

In preparation for the evacuation, a team of 15 doctors, including chest specialists, has been deployed at the site. Twelve ambulances are on standby, with plans for a fleet of 40. A helicopter is anticipated to be allocated for the operation, and a special ward at the community health centre in Chinyalisaur has been readied to accommodate all evacuated workers. Officials confirmed that all hospitals in the district, as well as AIIMS, Rishikesh, are on alert.

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