The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) on Monday managed to evacuate two trapped workers after over 200 hours of their ordeal, after a tunnel under construction collapsed here in Himachal Pradesh on September 12. However, the whereabouts of the third worker were not known yet.
In a quick reaction over the success in the tunnel mishap, Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh said, “Relieved that two workers have been rescued, operation will not stop till the third worker is found.”
“We managed to evacuate Mani Ram and Satish Tomar, who were stuck in the tunnel since September 21. Both are fine and have been taken to the nearby zonal hospital in Bilaspur (town) for examination,” Jaideep Singh, commanding officer of NDRF said.
Rescuers had earlier managed to penetrate the roof of the tunnel and were able to come closer to evacuate two workers stuck in it for over 200 hours in Himachal Pradesh.
The two trapped workers — Mani Ram and Satish Tomar – were in regular touch with the rescuers through a microphone linked with a webcam. They were also provided dry fruits and glucose.
However, the whereabouts of the third worker, Hirdya Ram, are not known yet.
For the past five days, a 50-odd member team comprising engineers, technical staff and geologists drilled a 42-metre vertical shaft through the mountain in its bid to rescue the workers.
A snag in the drilling machine hampered the evacuation throughout Sunday.
Of the 1.2-km proposed traffic tunnel of the Kiratpur-Manali expressway road project, 275 metres was excavated when disaster struck on September 12.
The contract for tunnel laying, involving an outlay of Rs 82 crore, has been assigned to the Chandigarh-based Himalayan Construction Co, three of whose workers, belonging to the hill state, were trapped.