Uttarakhand tunnel rescue ops: Progress, hurdles and strategies


Within the week because the flash flood in Uttarakhand’s Chamoli district, two tunnels of an NTPC hydro-power undertaking in Tapovan space have been on the centre of rescue operations. The preliminary goal was to wash an 180-metre space of slush to rescue 34 staff feared trapped there. On Sunday, 5 our bodies had been recovered from one of many tunnels.

Revisiting the painstaking, day-to-day progress within the operation, the altering strategies:

February 8
The rescue operation contained in the consumption tunnel, began after the February 7 flash flood, was halted for a couple of hours following an increase within the Dhauli Ganga river. It resumed at 5 am on Monday. The slush was cleared as much as solely 90 metres after a day-long train.

February 9
After removing of slush with rudimentary tools like excavators, an aerial survey was accomplished by a helicopter-bound Laser with Electromagnetic Pulse Imager for evaluation of the density contained in the consumption tunnel. A drone with cameras was additionally despatched contained in the tunnel as much as 120 metres, however failed to indicate human presence in that stretch. At the present time, NDRF and ITBP personnel had been capable of solely attain as much as 90 metres— as they eliminated the slush, extra muck stored popping out. Military males tried to launch a search close to the barrage in Dhauli Ganga—a website the place greater than 100 individuals are feared lacking—however known as it off after discovering the floor unsuitable for motion. The rescue appeared extra organised when a joint operational centre was arrange and format of the tunnel was displayed in public.

February 10
Rescue groups modified technique after discovering that staff could also be trapped in one other silt filtration tunnel (SFT), positioned 12 metres beneath the consumption tunnel. It was determined to begin drilling 72 metres from the opening of the primary tunnel. This was accomplished in order that lights with cameras might be lowered into the SFT. Two extra excavators had been deployed to hurry up removing of slush. A helpdesk was arrange for kinfolk of these folks feared trapped.

February 11
The operation was suspended following an increase in river water stream, however resumed after an hour. Round 80 metres of slush was cleared within the consumption tunnel. Drilling into SFT began at 3 am however was stopped because of sludge at a depth of 6 metres.

February 12
A recent try was made drill into the SFT at distance of 75 metres. Groups managed to achieved drilling to greater than 10 metres by night.

February 13
Drilling inside SFT was accomplished as much as a depth of 12 metres. With little house for reducing a digital camera, one other heavy machine was pressed into service to extend the diameter of drilled space as much as 30 cm and develop a borewell. However the reducing of digital camera failaed once more as a result of stress of slush. The borewell was plugged and removing of slush from the consumption tunnel resumed once more late evening.



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