Uttarakhand Flash Floods: Day & night operation to rescue 39 people trapped in tunnel

A day and night massive operation has been on since last night to rescue some 39 people trapped inside a tunnel after a glacier burst in Uttarakhand which caused flash floods on Sunday.

The natural calamity claimed 18 lives and over 200 people are missing. A 2.5 KM long tunnel with a single entrance diverging into two at Tapovan in Uttarakhand’s Chamoli was blocked with debris and slush which trapped workers of NTPC thermal power plant that washed away.


The officials said, “It was hard to tell where the workers were trapped or whether they were together at all. It was also believed that 34 people were trapped in one of the offshoots and five in the other. There has been no contact with any of them so far.”

Teams are on standby with dragon light sets, oxygen cylinders and stretchers to provide immediate help to those brought out. Over 300 personnel of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) and 200 others from the army and disaster teams are involved in the operation.

At least 12 workers were rescued from a smaller tunnel in the same area on Sunday evening.

On Sunday, a part of a glacier burst in Chamoli, triggering an avalanche and a deluge in the Alaknanda river system that washed away hydroelectric stations and five bridges. The burst glacier also swept away roads and forced authorities to evacuate villages.