Over 200 hours after they got trapped inside a tunnel in Himachal Pradesh, two workers finally found themselves rescued. The whereabouts of the third worker were not known yet. On Monday, rescuers from the NDRF reached the two workers, Mani Ram and Satish Tomar, by penetrating the roof of the tunnel.
For the past five days, a 50-odd member team comprising engineers, technical staff and geologists drilled a 42-metre vertical shaft through the mountain in its bid to rescue the workers.
A snag in the drilling machine hampered the evacuation throughout Sunday.
“We managed to evacuate Mani Ram and Satish Tomar, who were stuck in the tunnel since September 21. Both are fine and have been taken to the nearby zonal hospital in Bilaspur (town) for examination,” Jaideep Singh, commanding officer of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) said.
Bilaspur Deputy Commissioner Manasi Sahay Thakur told reporters that the NDRF men are going into the tunnel again to search for the third worker.
The rescuers, earlier, had also established communication with two of the three trapped labourers through digital cameras and microphones after hours of digging.
Food and water had been supplied to the trapped workers through a 47 mt and 4-inch diameter bore.
Of the 1.2-km proposed traffic tunnel of the Kiratpur-Manali expressway road project, 275 metres was excavated when disaster struck on September 12. The contract for tunnel laying, involving an outlay of Rs.82 crore, has been assigned to the Chandigarh-based Himalayan Construction Co, three of whose workers, belonging to the hill state, were trapped.