Uttarkashi Tunnel Collapse: Workers celebrating Diwali after finishing their shift, accident happened even before that

Pankaj Prasad
Uttarkashi Tunnel Collapse
Uttarkashi Tunnel Collapse

A landslide occurred in the state's longest (4.5 km) tunnel between Silkyara to Polgaon on Yamunotri Highway under the Chardham Road Project.

The workers were about to celebrate Diwali holiday after finishing their 12-hour shift in the tunnel under construction on Yamunotri Highway in Uttarkashi. The accident happened before the shift was about to end at 8 in the morning. 250 meters ahead of the Silkyara mouth of the tunnel, 30 to 35 meters of the tunnel broke. Due to which 30 to 35 laborers engaged in construction work got trapped inside the tunnel.

According to the latest report, relief and rescue work is going on in Silkyara Tunnel on Uttarkashi-Yamnotri road. Giving information on the incident, Provincial Guard (PRD) jawan Ranveer Singh Chauhan said that the work is going on very fast. Everyone is working very hard. We were sad yesterday because we were not able to talk to the stranded people. But now we are talking to them.

Loader operator Mrityunjay Kumar said that mucking work is going on. The work of removing debris is being done with loaders and excavators. About 30-35 meter portion of the tunnel has been broken. The incident took place around 5:30 am on Sunday. We have information that about 40-45 people are trapped. Everyone is safe.

Oxygen and water have been made available: Prashant Kumar

On the Uttarkashi tunnel accident, Uttarkashi Circle Officer Prashant Kumar says, "40 people are trapped inside the tunnel. All are safe, we have provided them oxygen and water. The current situation is that yesterday we rescued the people trapped inside the tunnel. Had established communication with. We have gone about 15 meters inside the tunnel, and about 35 meters are still to go. Everyone is safe, we have provided oxygen and water. We have to go through the side tunnel to go inside the tunnel. Making my way in.

Circle Officer Prashant Kumar said that the debris is about 60 meters deep. As we are clearing the debris, debris is falling from above. We have removed about 15-20 meters of debris. Everyone is safe.

Let us tell you that under the Chardham Road Project, the state's longest tunnel (4.5 km) is being built between Silkyara to Polgaon on Yamunotri Highway. In which now only about 500 meters is left to cross the tunnel. Workers are working on the construction of this tunnel in two shifts day and night.

The shift started last Saturday night at 8 o'clock. In which 40 to 50 laborers had gone to work. This shift was to end at 8 am on Sunday, the day of Big Diwali. After which all the workers were excited to celebrate Diwali holiday. But before this, the tunnel broke 230 meters inside the Silkyara mouth of the tunnel. At first the debris fell slowly. Which everyone took lightly.

Then suddenly a huge amount of debris came and the tunnel was closed. During this time 3-4 laborers ran away to save their lives. But the other got stuck inside the tunnel. Whose number is said to be around 35 to 40. Jharkhand resident laborer Hemant Nayak, who is engaged in the construction work of the tunnel, said that about 65 to 70 laborers work in a 12-hour shift.

Shift laborers had gone to work on Saturday night. Whose shift was to end at 8 am on Sunday morning. But two and a half hours ago, at around 5:30, an accident occurred in the tunnel. Told that after the end of the shift, all the workers were going to celebrate Diwali holiday for the whole day.

Work was going on in two shifts day and night

Work was going on in the tunnel in two shifts day and night. In which the day shift used to work from 8 am to 8 pm and then the night shift used to work from 8 pm to 8 am. Different workers from four companies worked in shifts. These include Navyuga, Shri Sai Construction, Nav Durga and PB Chanda Company.

DM arrived by heli on receiving information about the incident, monitoring the rescue work

Let us tell you that on the day of Diwali, a major accident took place in the tunnel under construction on Yamunotri Highway. A 30 to 35 meter portion of the tunnel collapsed near the Silkyara mouth of the tunnel. Due to which the workers are trapped inside the tunnel due to debris coming into the tunnel.
On receiving information about the incident, teams of Police, SDRF, NDRF, ITBP, BRO and Disaster Management Department along with the construction agency are engaged in rescue work on the spot. On receiving information about the incident, DM Abhishek Ruhela, who was on Diwali leave, also arrived by helicopter. Who are monitoring the rescue work.

DM canceled leave of all officers

After the accident in the tunnel under construction near Yamunotri Highway, DM Abhishek Ruhela has canceled the leave of all the officers of the district. All officers have been instructed to immediately return to their respective workplaces and remain ready round the clock for relief and rescue operations. 

Workers from different states are trapped in the tunnel

The workers trapped in the tunnel are from the states of Jharkhand, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Himachal, Odisha including Uttarakhand. The trapped laborers include two from Kotdwar and Pithoradh in Uttarakhand, 4 from Bihar, 3 from West Bengal, 2 from Assam, 15 from Jharkhand, 8 from Uttar Pradesh, one from Himachal and five from Odisha.

Helpline for updates and assistance on Silkyara Tunnel accident

SP Uttarkashi, Arpan Yaduvanshi has deployed police force, relief and rescue teams on the spot for 24 hours to ensure safe exit of the laborers trapped in Silkyara Tunnel. SP said that it is our priority to get the people trapped in the tunnel out safely as soon as possible. For this, teams of police force and relief and rescue team will be engaged in rescue work on the spot 24 hours. Uttarkashi Police's helpline number +917455991223 has also been issued for rescue updates and assistance.