Indian Workers remain trapped in Collapsed Tunnel 3-Days After

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According to officials, 40 workers were trapped in an Indian highway tunnel that collapsed, but rescue personnel were unable to reach them because large stones were obstructing efforts to clear a path for evacuation.

The workmen are still safe and well three days after the tunnel collapsed, an official participating in the rescue efforts told Reuters.

Since Sunday morning, when the tunnel collapsed at 5:30 a.m. (0000 GMT), the guys who are trapped have been provided food, drink, and oxygen via a conduit.

Uttar Pradesh State Relief Commissioner G.S. Naveen stated, “A heavy machine is being brought in from New Delhi to insert an evacuation pipe as the current one is being blocked by boulders.”

In the 4.5-km (3-mile) tunnel, which is being built on a national highway that is part of the Char Dham Hindu pilgrimage route in the neighbouring Uttarakhand state, there were about 50-60 men working on the night shift.

On Tuesday local media reported that those near the exit of the tunnel got out, while the 40 deeper inside were trapped.

One of the most ambitious projects of the Hindu nationalist Prime Minister Narendra Modi is the Char Dham Mahamarg Vikas Pariyojana, which aims to connect four Hindu pilgrimage sites in Uttarakhand through an 825 km long express National Highway with a minimum width of 10 meters. The project is expected to cost ₹ 12,000 crores (approximately $1.5 billion).

Landslides, earthquakes and floods are common in the mountainous region, and the event follows land subsidence, which geologists, residents, and authorities have attributed to the rapid construction in the mountains.

Hundreds of houses were damaged by subsidence along the routes, and the project has been criticized by environmental experts, and some work has been stopped.

The tunnel work began in 2018 and was supposed to be finished by July 2022, but it has been postponed to May 2024, according to a government statement.

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