Road Tunnel Collapse Leaves 30+ Workers Trapped

In a tragic turn of events on Sunday, a portion of a road tunnel currently under construction caved in following a landslide in northern India, leaving over thirty laborers trapped inside, as reported by the Associated Press (AP).

Emergency response teams totaling about 160 personnel are relentlessly working round the clock, deploying drilling machines and excavators to reach the trapped workers. Efforts are being made to supply oxygen and food into the collapsed segment of the tunnel, ensuring the survival of the workers trapped within, as per AP. The compromised section of the tunnel is approximately 200 meters (656 feet) away from the entrance, as per reports.

“Oxygen is being channeled into the caved-in segment of the tunnel to support the respiration of trapped workers,” declared Manohar Tamta, a disaster relief official from Uttarakhand state.
As quoted by the Press Trust of India news agency, the state government official confirmed that the workers have been transmitting signals that suggest their safety.

The tunnel, located in the Uttarkashi district of Uttarakhand and known as the Silkyara-Dandalgaon tunnel, has been in the news, according to NDTV. AP reported that Uttarakhand, a state frequented by tourists and pilgrims, is replete with Hindu temples. The state has witnessed numerous infrastructural developments contributing to its growth and expansion.

Social media has been flooded with videos of emergency personnel’s frantic efforts and heavy machinery operating within the tunnel, with metal rods ominously dangling from the fallen portion of the tunnel’s roof. The incident coincided with India’s Diwali celebrations, a major Hindu festival of lights.

2023 has been a tough year for India, with several structural failures reported nationwide. A horrifying incident occurred in August when a bridge spanning the Kurung River in Mizoram state’s Sairang town gave way, resulting in at least 26 fatalities, according to the BBC.

Another unfortunate event took place in Shapur, Maharashtra, when a crane involved in bridge construction work toppled, killing at least 16 workers and leaving others trapped, as per Reuters. Additionally, a well cover gave way during festivities at a Hindu temple complex in Indore, Madhya Pradesh, in late March, causing 36 deaths, including the temple board’s secretary, as reported by the AP.