Endoscopic camera facilitates first interaction with trapped workers in Uttarkashi tunnel

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UTTARKASHI: On the tenth day of rescue operations at the Silkyara tunnel collapse site in Uttarkashi, Uttarakhand, a significant milestone was achieved after an endoscopic flexi camera was successfully inserted into the collapsed section.

Visuals from the special camera facilitated the first interaction with the trapped workers. The endoscopic camera is mainly used for minimally invasive medical procedures. Doctors us this to check interior organs for diagnosis and treatment. Here the rescue teams are using a flexi endoscopic camera. The flexi wire allows the device to move along the shape of the pipeline.

The rescue team is still involved in formulating further strategies for the rescue operation of the workers trapped in the tunnel.

The first visuals of the trapped workers that emerged with the help of the endoscopy camera showed the workers speaking to the rescue teams informing them that they were healthy.

The workers could be seen standing in the tunnel, wearing their protective helmets.

A morning meal was also prepared for the workers during the day. The food will be pushed through the six-inch-wide pipeline that was pushed earlier on Monday through the rubble of the collapsed portion.

Speaking about the prepared food items, one of the cooks told ANI that ‘Aloo-Chana Dal’ has been prepared, and ‘Khichdi’ and ‘Daliya’ are also among the options that will be sent as per the instructions given to them. He also said that they will also be making ‘Puri’ later on.

Earlier, on Monday, hot Khichdi was sent through this 6-inch pipeline to the stranded workers for the first time since they were trapped.

On November 12, it was reported that a collapse occurred in an under-construction tunnel from Silkyara to Barkot due to a muck falling in the 60-metre stretch on the Silkyara side of the tunnel, trapping 41 labourers. As per the government, the labourers are trapped in the 2 km-built tunnel portion, which is complete including concrete work that provides safety to the workers.

After yesterday’s breakthrough of the 6-inch pipeline, the horizontal boring by National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited (NHIDCL) from Silkyara end for the rescue of workers through the Augur boring machine will be recommenced.

Multiple agencies are working on the rescue efforts. The Rail Vikas Nigam Limited (RVNL) is working on another vertical pipeline for the supply of essential items.

The Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam Limited (SJVNL) has brought a heavy drilling machine and is now at the tunnel site to being the vertical drilling operation. International Tunnelling Association President Arnold Dix is also at the operation site to aid in the rescue efforts.

Meanwhile, Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami said that the work of evacuating the workers trapped is going on at a fast pace and if during this period, any relative of the trapped persons arrives at the site, the government will make arrangements for their travel, accommodation and food. (ANI)

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