The Himachal Pradesh tunnel collapse disaster
India

The Himachal Pradesh tunnel collapse disaster

Two of three trapped workers rescued in Bilaspur

A National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) team rescued two of three workers who were trapped in a tunnel collapse in Bilaspur, Himachal Pradesh.

The rescue came after the workers were trapped inside for 9 days after the tunnel collapsed on 12th September.

A vertical shaft, 42 metres deep, had to be dug to reach the workers.

The third worker is yet to be found.

Timeline

12 Sep 2015: Rs.82 crore tunnel project meets disaster

Three workers were trapped after a tunnel being built for the Kiratpur-Nerchowk four-lane project collapsed at 8.30 pm.

275 m of the proposed 1.2 km-tunnel had to be excavated when tunnel-4 collapsed, trapping Satish Tomar, Mani Ram and Hirdey Ram.

The Rs.82 crore project (and the workers) was under Chandigarh-based Himalayan Construction Company.

The cause of the sudden collapse is subject to further investigation.

14 Sep 2015: Tunnel collapsed due to negligence; army called

Tunnel collapsed due to negligence; army called

The Himachal Pradesh government finally called the army after the Bilaspur tunnel collapsed 2 days ago.

Earth moving excavators which were being used in rescue attempts were damaged by debris, and a heavy-duty hydraulic drill was called from Jaipur to continue operations.

Meanwhile, workers revealed that a 4m long crack which had appeared on the roof of the tunnel could have caused the collapse.

17 Sep 2015: Rescuers make contact with workers

After 5 days of rescue attempts, authorities established contact with two of the workers- Satish Tomar and Mani Ram.

This was achieved after engineers managed to drill a 47 m deep vertical shaft, 4 inches in diameter allowing authorities to supply the workers with food and water.

A remote camera and a microphone were also lowered to facilitate communication.

Hirdey Ram was not found.

20 Sep 2015: Technical glitches slowing rescue operation

The heavy-duty hydraulic drill, which was being used to drill a shaft wide enough to evacuate the workers, encountered several glitches.

The rig broke down on the 18th and was subsequently repaired.

With just 1 metre of thick rock left to be drilled, the rig malfunctioned again.

Furthermore, rainwater accumulation slowed progress and a high-power pump had to be installed to counter it.

Fact: The obstacles

While the heavy-duty rig was drilling a vertical shaft, there were on-going operations to excavate the mouth of the collapsed tunnel. However, this horizontal route was blocked by more than 60 metres of debris, making the operation futile.

21 Sep 2015: Two of three trapped workers rescued in Bilaspur

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