Rescue efforts intensify as breakthrough nears in Silkyara Tunnel Tragedy

Rescue nears in Silkyara tunnel; with five meters left, medical preparations for workers underway

In the ongoing rescue mission at the Silkyara tunnel, workers are on the brink of a breakthrough, with just five meters left in the excavation process. Immediate medical preparations are underway to transport the rescued workers to a nearby hospital.

At the Chinyalisaur community health center, around 30 kilometers from Silkyara, a special ward of 41 oxygen-supported beds has been established to offer vital medical care to the rescued workers.


The road outside the tunnel is undergoing repairs to make it more ambulance-friendly. Over the previous two weeks, big vehicles have been using it constantly, which has made the road uneven. A new layer of soil is being applied for ideal circumstances.

Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami said that pipes have been successfully inserted up to 52 meters into the debris at the Silkyara tunnel. The breakthrough point is at 57 meters, and the rescue efforts are in their 17th day. On November 12, a section of the tunnel collapsed, obstructing the exit for 41 workers within.

The last 10 to 12 meters of rubble in the collapsed part of the under-construction tunnel on the Char Dham journey are being excavated horizontally by a dozen rat-hole mining specialists with great diligence. Originally drilled with a massive auger machine, the present manual effort has surpassed the 50-meter mark, bolstering prospects for a prompt evacuation. The earlier digging encountered difficulties at about 47 meters.

Chris Cooper, the leader of the L&T team, was pleased about the development. But the operation’s speed is still dependent on any obstacles that may arise from the excavation, which has been difficult from the start.