Indian Highway Tunnel Rescue Efforts Enter Third Week

( – On November 12th, 41 men who were working on a highway tunnel in the northern Indian state of Uttarakhand were trapped by a suspected landslide. Rescue workers immediately drilled a hole to keep the laborers alive and create a passage that allowed food, medicine, and air through. However, there have been a lot of setbacks during rescue efforts.

Over the past two-plus weeks, rescue teams have tried different avenues to reach the men inside. Initial plans were to force a pipe through the rubble, one wide enough to allow the men to crawl through. With debris continuing to fall through the area, it wasn’t safe for the workers. There was very little insight into the tunnel, making it difficult to tell the condition of those trapped.

On November 21, teams sent down an endoscopic camera to try to get a glimpse of the men. Rescuers asked the workers to show themselves, so they could notify their families that they were okay. Six days later, the men were still trapped when rescue workers began using an auger to drill through the area, but were left back at square one when the heavy machinery was damaged. The same day, officials brought in rat miners to help dig through the remaining 30 to 50 feet.

On November 28, rescue efforts finally began to succeed as the miners not only managed to dig through the rubble using hand tools, but also inserted two pipes welded together to roll the men out on stretchers following their rescue. In a post on X, formerly Twitter, Chief Minister of Uttarakhand, Pushkar Singh Dhami, said, “the work of laying pipes in the tunnel to take out the workers has been completed,” and the “labor brothers” were expected to be taken out soon.

Outside the tunnel, medical teams and ambulances waited for the men to make their exit so they could examine them and provide transport to the hospital for checkups.

Copyright 2023,