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Uttarkashi tunnel rescue operation continues for 10th day


Rescuers interacted with all the labourers trapped in the Silkiyara tunnel and spoke through video, all safe and sound. In yet another major breakthrough and boost to rescue efforts, all  41 labourers trapped in the Silkiyara tunnel in Uttarakhand's Uttarkashi district were seen through a pipe and interacted with the outside world. On the tenth day of the rescue operation, all of them appeared to be healthy and safe as per the footage of an endoscopic flexi camera. Since the collapse of a part of the Silkiyara tunnel, many organizations from the state to the Center have joined together in the rescue work. On Monday, drones were used to see the condition of the workers, but due to dust inside, the visibility was poor. Furthermore, when the camera was sent inside to communicate with the labourers, it initially failed to make contact. However, on the tenth day, the team's voices were heard and the labourers showed happiness on their faces. There is now hope that they will be rescued soon. Meanwhile, an expert team of Sutlej Jal Vidyut Nigam Limited (SJVNL), which evacuated labourers from the tunnel of Kiratpur-Narchok-Manali four-lane highway in Himachal Pradesh, has reached Silkiara. Team officials said: "Within two to three days of the machine setup, about 90 meters of drilling will be done to bring the laborers out safely". In 2015, two labourers were trapped in a tunnel on the Kiratpur-Manali highway after an accident. The company's GM Jaswant Kapoor said, "Two laborers were trapped in that accident, to save them, SJVNL had installed a drill machine on top of the tunnel, so that after drilling for about 47 meters, they reached the laborers. Col Deepak Patil, in-charge of rescue operations at the Silkiyara tunnel, told this newspaper, "Drilling work has started in the tunnel from the Badkot end as well. For this, a team of eight people of THDC has arrived. A tunnel of two to two and a half meters diameter will be prepared from here".

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