New Delhi: Tuesday morning brought a fresh ray of hope for about 41 workers trapped inside the Silkyara tunnel of Uttarkashi and also marked a significant progress in the rescue operation. First visuals of trapped workers emerged today, hours after rescue teams successfully pushed six-inch wide pipeline through the collapsed tunnel.
While the rescue teams, aided by active support from Army & NDRF, continue digging without success, an international tunneling & underground rescue expert Professor Arnold Dix joined the mission in Uttarakhand tunnel collapse.
While joining the rescue work in Uttarakhand yesterday, Mr Dix said that he was confident that all stranded workers will go home shortly.
” We’re going to rescue these men. When I arrived here, I said, there’s 41 men coming home and there’s no one else going to be hurt” Professor Dix said.
He also briefed the newsmen about various options being explored to excavate the workers to safety.
“The 900 pipeline is one of the options. It’s by far the best and fastest means to get the men, but it has its technical difficulties and that’s why we’re doing multiple rescue missions,”
Who is Arnold Dix?
Professor Arnold Dix, who is now at the forefront of complex rescue mission, has a history of resolving such tunnel crisis in the past. He is a world-acclaimed expert in tunnel safety & disaster response.
He is also the President of International Tunnelling Underground Space. His contributions and insights into tunnel & disaster responses in previous episodes have been lauded from all quarters.
With rescue teams exhausting most of their drilling & excavation options, through 10 days of ‘confinement in cave’, vertical drilling is being explored & contemplated upon as the ‘last safe resort’ for their safety.
Mr Dix also told the newsmen today that two locations were identified for vertical digging on the Silkyara tunnel and it was about to start today morning.
He said that current situation looked promising but careful evaluation of options will help resolve it.
What honours Professor Arnold Dix have earned?
Professor Dix is a notable name in the field of tunneling & underground rescue operation. His career remains marked by numerous accolades. In 2011, he was felicitated with the Alan Neyland Australasian Tunnelling Society bi-annual award for excellence in tunnelling.
He has many decades of experience in serving on the panels & working groups of noted organizations like FIDIC, PIARC, and NFPA. He is a visiting professor of Engineering (Tunnels) in Tokyo while also holds membership of the Victorian Bar.
How inside footage of trapped workers emerged?
Notably, the workers have been languishing inside the tunnel since November 12, when a portion of it caved in and entrapped workers.
Today, an endoscopy camera was inserted via the six-inch pipeline pushed through the debris. The first pictures, captured by the camera, showed the trapped workers in relatively health state and they were also able to communicated with the rescuers.
Uttarakhand: First visuals of workers trapped at Silkyara tunnel emerge, seen communicating with rescue teams pic.twitter.com/agueHsBvtg
— Newsroompost (@NewsroomPostCom) November 21, 2023