Motorway tunnel collapse traps 41 workers in India for a WEEK with rescuers facing a race against time to save them
- Families of those stuck are frustrated & angry as operation reaches seventh day
- Around 100 tunnel workers demanded faster progress in freeing those trapped
A landslide in Uttarkashi, northern India, is thought to have caused a section of a 4.5km tunnel to fall apart, around 200m from the entrance.
Those who are trapped are reported to be safe and receiving oxygen, water, medicine and food via a pipe.
Food such as nuts, chickpeas and popcorn are being sent down every two hours to the group trapped underneath the road and there are two doctors who are regularly checking in with them to see how they are feeling.
Around 50 to 60 workers were on the overnight shift at the time of the collapse last Sunday and those who were near the exit managed to escape the tunnel.
However, 41 people remain stuck underneath the debris.
A landslide in Uttarkashi, northern India, is thought to have caused a section of the 4.5km tunnel to fall apart, around 200m from the entrance. Pictured: Rescue workers stand at the entrance of the road tunnel today
Those who are trapped are reported to be safe and receiving oxygen, water, medicine and food via a pipe. Pictured: Rescue workers were pictured inside the tunnels on Monday
Relatives from various states have spent nights near the tunnel, seeking updates on their loved ones. Pictured: National Disaster Response Force team members outside the under-construction tunnel on Tuesday
As the rescue operation stretched into its seventh day, families of those trapped were frustrated and angry.
Relatives from various states have spent nights near the tunnel, seeking updates on their loved ones.
Krishna Patel, whose 20-year-old nephew is among those trapped said he had hoped to see his relative on Friday.
'The administration keeps changing the timeline for when they may be rescued. It's very frustrating,' he said.
Some of the workers said they felt feverish and had body aches on Wednesday, but officials have said there has been no deterioration in their condition.
The tunnel is part of a government project connecting Hindu pilgrimage sites.
The rescue team has been drilling horizontally through the debris of the collapsed tunnel to reach the trapped workers. But the augur machine used to drill broke on Friday and a new one was flown in on Saturday.
'The new plan is to simultaneously drill from the side and above,' said Bhaskar Khulbe, officer on special duty for the tunnel project.
Rescuers have drilled around 24 metres into the rubble since starting on Thursday - but one official said that they may need 60m to allow those who are trapped out of the tunnel.
Experts are worried that the intensity of the drilling machine used to try and get them out may cause more trouble.
India's State Disaster Response Force is pictured inside the tunnel, trying to work out a plan on Monday
A new auger machine arrives at the site today, where road workers are trapped in a tunnel after a portion of it collapsed
Colleagues of trapped workers are pictured anxiously waiting near the tunnel
Image taken on Monday shows forces inside the tunnel trying to figure out how to carve a path to save those stuck
The tunnel is part of a government project connecting Hindu pilgrimage sites
Machinery is pictured in the tunnel on Monday, as rescuers race against time to save those who are trapped
Experts met yesterday to discuss other avenues and tactics to try and free those who are stuck underneath the road. Pictured: A rescue team in the tunnel on Monday
They hoped that they would be able to finish the drilling by Friday, but the operation was halted when they heard a large crack from within the tunnel.
Experts met yesterday to discuss other avenues and tactics to try and free those who are stuck underneath the road.
Khulbe said that a geological survey was conducted by a team of experts that has helped identify four points on the mountain through which vertical drilling is possible.
Khulbe said that drilling remains suspended for now and stated that it will take another four or five days 'to get the good news'.
But close to 100 tunnel workers gathered at the site yesterday, demanding faster progress in reaching and freeing those trapped.
Vishnu Sahu, a labourer who was leading the protest, said the rescue team was keeping workers in the dark about the pace of progress of the rescue.
'We want the top people of the company to come here,' Sahu said.IndiaEarthquakes