Bhubaneswar: As many as five men from Odisha are among the 40 workers who got trapped as an under-construction tunnel on Yamunotri National Highway in Uttarakhand’s Uttarkashi district collapsed on Sunday.
They are Tapan Mandal from Sankarshanpur, Bhagaban Batra from Nabarangpur, Bisweswar Nayak from Mayurbhanj, Raju Naik from Mayurbhanj and Dhiren from Badakudar.
The trapped workers are safe while communication has been established with them. Food and oxygen were being supplied to them through a pipeline laid for water supply, officials said.
Excavators have been engaged for the removal of debris. Police, National Disaster Response Force and State Disaster Response Force personnel have been carrying out search and rescue operation.
The tunnel is a part of the Char Dham project and is supposed to connect Silkyara to Dangalgaon, reducing the distance between them by at least 25 kms when completed.
According to the information, the accident happened at 5 a.m. on Sunday at a distance of 200 meters from the tunnel entrance towards Silkyara, while the workers were 2,800 meters inside the entrance.
With a total length of 4.5 km, construction of 4 km has already been completed. It was supposed to be completed by September 2023, but has been delayed.
(With IANS inputs)