Rescuers are working to free 40 construction workers stranded inside a collapsed tunnel in the north Indian state of Uttarakhand.1
The tunnel, which is located in a region frequented by landslides, earthquakes, and floods, collapsed on Sunday during a federal government project to improve the connectivity between Hindu pilgrimage sights.2
The rescuers, who expected to have freed the trapped workers by Tuesday night or Wednesday, faced a setback after the plan to drill through the debris and install pipes using an auger machine failed on Tuesday evening.3
Authorities say they have established communication with the trapped workers, who they report to be safe. The workers are being provided food, water, and other essentials through pipes.4
Over 160 rescue workers from the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), State Disaster Response Force (SDRF), Border Roads Organisation (BRO), and Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) have been deployed to the scene of the collapse. Two workers were reportedly injured on Tuesday by falling debris.3
The Indian government has reached out to the Indian army as well as foreign experts for assistance in freeing the workers, including the Norwegian Geotechnical Institute and the Thai experts who worked to rescue the boy's soccer team trapped in a cave system in northern Thailand in 2018.5
Pro-establishment narrative, as provided by The Indian Express. Authorities are doing all they can to free the trapped workers but are struggling against the elements. Continued landslides have complicated their rescue efforts but more help and heavy machinery is being brought in. The workers are all currently safe and rescuers are working hard to keep it that way.
Establishment-critical narrative, as provided by Al Jazeera. The friends and families of the trapped workers have a right to be angry at authorities. Accidents on large-scale infrastructure projects like this one are not uncommon, and migrant workers like those currently trapped in the tunnel are the ones bearing the brunt of these disasters.