41 lives at stake at Silkyara, First visuals emerge as Rescue Operations Continue

The first images of the 41 workers trapped inside the Silkyara tunnel surfaced on November 21.


Pictures of the trapped in Uttarakhand tunnel released by the rescuers | Credit - PTI

Written By Sweety Mohanta and Sai Abhiram P.Y

The first images of the 41 workers trapped inside the Silkyara tunnel surfaced on November 21. An endoscopic camera that was inserted via a six-inch pipeline that was driven through the debris of the collapsed section of the tunnel on the Char Dham route in Uttarakhand, on November 20, was used to take the pictures. The workers wearing yellow and white helmets could be seen conversing with one another and accepting food that is supplied to them through the pipeline in the video published.

Television networks received a warning on November 21 from the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) not to record live posts or videos from the tunnel site where rescue operations are taking place. They also need to ensure that the presence of reporters or camera crews does not interfere with rescue efforts. "Numerous government agencies are putting up great effort to ensure the safe departure of forty-one workers. Saving so many lives is at the centre of this extraordinarily delicate operation surrounding the tunnel,” the warning said.

Authorities have begun to consider horizontal drilling to extract the trapped 41 mine workers from the Silkyara tunnel using the Auger machine. The auger is an American drilling machine that is currently being used by officials to drill a 6-inch-wide pipe that will feed the stranded workers. Until Monday, a four-inch existing tube was used to feed oxygen and things such as dry fruits and medications into the area of the tunnel beyond the collapsed segment. To provide bigger quantities of food, the rescue crew pushed a six-inch-wide conduit through the rubbles of the collapsed Silkyara-Barkot tunnel on Tuesday.

The Silkyara tunnel, some 30 kilometres from Uttarkashi's district capital, is part of the national government's ambitious Char Dham all-weather road project. Since sections of the tunnel collapsed due to a landslip early on November 12, trapping workers behind a massive mound of rubble, rescue activities have been conducted on a war footing. Along with the workers making their first appearance on camera since becoming trapped, Lt Gen Syed Ata Hasnain, a representative of the National Disaster Management Authority, also expressed relief to the family members who were waiting outside by saying that there was enough water, oxygen, and room for them to move around.

All stories that are reported, edited and published on this platform are original, produced by the students and faculty of National School of Journalism, sometimes contributed by guest faculty and speakers. If you would like to contribute, please email us at tannoy@nsoj.in NSoJ is a news organisation and a highly-selective Journalism school that trains India’s best journalistic talents to become ethical journalists who care deeply about truth, justice and democracy. If you are passionate about journalism and care about the core values of journalism as we do, please apply for a place in one of NSoJ’s programmes - Bachelor of Arts or PG Diploma in Journalism at www.nsoj.in.