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First Visuals Of Manual Drilling; Take A Look At The Progress So Far

Take a look at the initial glimpses of the ongoing manual drilling efforts within Uttarakhand's Silkyara tunnel to rescue the 41 trapped workers.

Edited By : Malika Sahni | Updated: Nov 28, 2023 10:26 IST
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The initial glimpses of the ongoing manual drilling efforts within Uttarakhand’s Silkyara tunnel to rescue the 41 trapped workers emerged in images released by news agency ANI on Tuesday. As the manual drilling progresses, a specialized auger machine aids in pushing the pipe through the tunnel. The rescue operation has now entered its 17th day within the Silkyara tunnel.

Take a look:

Currently, a total of 3 meters of manual drilling has been completed, with overall drilling progress reaching around 50 meters. Rat-hole mining experts, specifically called in to assist in the rescue mission, initiated the manual drilling through the tunnel’s debris on Monday.

Concurrently, vertical drilling from above the tunnel has reached a depth of 36 meters out of the required 86 meters. Micro tunneling expert Chris Cooper reported three meters of manual drilling completed so far, constituting a total drilling achievement of about 50 meters.

According to ANI, official sources have mentioned that approximately 57 meters of drilling work from the tunnel’s entrance remains to be accomplished to install a pipe inside and reach the trapped workers.

Providing insight into the ongoing drilling, Chris Cooper expressed optimism, stating, “Progress was substantial last night. We’ve crossed the 50-meter mark, with about 5-6 meters remaining. We encountered no significant obstacles. The outlook appears positive.”

Earlier attempts involved using the auger machine, successfully completing around 47 meters of drilling to install the pipe. However, the machine encountered a setback, getting stuck in the debris, necessitating its removal using a plasma cutter.

Twelve experts specializing in rat-hole mining are involved in the manual drilling and horizontal excavation, particularly focusing on the final 10- to 12-meter section of debris within the collapsed segment of the under-construction tunnel on Uttarakhand’s Char Dham route.

Previously, the massive auger machine handling the drilling operations faced hindrances on Friday when it became lodged in the rubble. This incident prompted officials to explore an alternate approach – drilling downwards from above the tunnel. Approximately 40% of the requisite 86-meter vertical drilling has been accomplished using this method.

For the through-the-rubble horizontal approach, authorities have decided to tackle the ultimate stretch manually. Individual workers equipped with drills and gas cutters will navigate the escape passage, addressing obstacles like iron girders in this final phase.

Also Read: Weather Update – November 28, 2023: Heavy Rainfall In Several States, Temperature Drop Predicted

First published on: Nov 28, 2023 10:26 AM IST

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