Delays in machine repairs: Challenges in rescuing trapped Indian tunnel workers

Rescue work to save 41 workers trapped in a tunnel in India’s Uttarakhand state has faced another setback as the drilling machine being used to create an escape route developed a snag. The US-made machine is currently being repaired, causing further delays in the operation. The workers have been stuck inside the tunnel for 12 days after a landslide caused a portion of it to collapse. Although contact has been established and the workers have been provided with essential supplies, the rescue mission has been hindered by technical difficulties and the complex nature of the operation. The presence of rocks, stones, and metal debris inside the tunnel adds to the challenges. Additionally, the mountainous region’s susceptibility to landslides and earthquakes further hampers rescue efforts. Despite the continuous efforts and reinforcement of the drilling machine’s platform, it is difficult to predict how long it will take to dig through the remaining debris. The authorities aim to ensure the workers’ safety and shift them to a nearby hospital as soon as possible. Ambulances are on standby outside the tunnel. This ongoing drama underscores the complexities and hazards associated with rescue missions in challenging terrains.