LUCKNOW: Rescuers in north Indian mountains trying to reach 40 road workers trapped in a collapsed tunnel for more than three days will soon get help from a heavy drilling machine airlifted into the site, officials said on Wednesday (Nov 15).
The workers are safe and rescuers have been able to communicate with them and send them food, water and oxygen through a pipe since the collapse last Sunday, but huge boulders have stymied efforts to dig an escape route for them.
A high-powered augur drilling machine has been airlifted from New Delhi, about 400km to the south, in the hope of drilling through the debris trapping the men.
“The new machine has reached the nearest helipad. It is being assembled, and will be sent to the site soon,” said the head of police in India’s northern state of Uttarakhand, Ashok Kumar.
The men were working on the Char Dham highway, one of the most ambitious projects of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist government, which aims to connect four Hindu pilgrimage sites in the mountains through 890km of roads at a cost of US$1.5 billion.
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