Uttarkashi Tunnel Rescue Story

Uttarkashi Tunnel Rescue Story

Uttarkashi Tunnel Rescue Story – On November 11 at 8 pm, a group of 41 men ventured into the depths of the Silkyara-Barkot tunnel in Uttarkashi. Their mission: to work through the night and emerge the next morning to celebrate Diwali. However, at 5:30 am the following day, the tunnel rumbled as debris blocked their exit. Trapped for 17 days, the men faced uncertainty, but their resourcefulness and unity became their strength.

Bisweswar Nayak, with four-and-a-half years of tunnel construction experience, initially believed they would find a way out when a landslide began at 5:30 am on November 12. Despite their initial attempts to continue work, the debris piled up to nearly 70 meters by 8 am, leaving them trapped.

Isolated from the outside world with no network inside the tunnel, the men used the tunnel’s water pipes to signal their distress. Blocking the water flow every five minutes, they communicated their predicament to engineers outside. Electricity and light were present, but the fear of oxygen depletion loomed. After a few hours, engineers noticed their signals, and communication through the pipes began.

Uttarkashi Tunnel Rescue Story First Two days

The 4-inch pipe became their lifeline, delivering oxygen and dry food within the first two days. However, the stale air inside prompted breathing difficulties. After 18 hours, oxygen was pumped through a small pipeline, relieving their respiratory concerns.

Nausea and indigestion surfaced as minor health issues due to the repetitive diet. Entertainment was scarce initially, with the men resorting to simple paper games.

Uttarkashi Tunnel Rescue Story Day 9

On Day 9, a breakthrough occurred as a six-inch pipeline emerged, providing a means to pass through essential supplies, water, mobile phone chargers, and an endoscopic camera, which became their link to the outside world.

Inside the tunnel, a daily routine was established by foremen Gulab Singh Negi and Saba Ahmed. The 2km stretch, sealed from external elements, provided a stable environment, although water scarcity initially led to constipation. Improvised bathroom solutions were implemented, and makeshift bedsheets from geotextile sheets ensured some comfort during disturbed sleep.

After the 6-inch pipe installation, movies on phones helped combat boredom. A BSNL landline provided a vital connection to family, instilling a sense of relief.

Encouragement poured in through the microphone attached to the endoscopic camera and the BSNL landline. On November 28, after pushing through 55 meters of debris, the rescuers reached them. The sight of the evacuation pipe marked their impending freedom. At 9 pm, the 41 men emerged, triumphant survivors, having faced the ordeal buried beneath the mountain.With inputs from Avinash Kumar in Patna)


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