Rescuers Race to Save Tunnel Workers in India

Forty were caught in a landslide at a construction project in the mountains
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 13, 2023 6:06 AM CST
Race to Save Trapped Tunnel Workers in India
Rescuers inside a collapsed road tunnel where about 40 workers were trapped by a landslide in northern in Uttarakhand state, India, Sunday, Nov.12, 2023.   (SDRF via AP)

Rescuers in northern India are trying to reach 40 workers who were trapped by a landslide as they were digging a tunnel through a mountain. Rescue teams in Uttarkashi district say they have been able to communicate with the trapped workers with walkie-talkies, and they've pumped in oxygen through a pipeline that had been laid to transport water, reports the BBC. The tunnel collapse happened Sunday, which also was Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights. Friends and family of the workers say they had been been planning to celebrate with the men after they were off work.

Rescuers have used heavy machinery to remove about 15 yards of rock and debris, and they have about another 35 yards to go before they reach the men, per the AP. The process, however, is painstaking, given the risk of causing further collapses. The workers were building a tunnel as part of an ambitious highway construction project in the mountainous state. Uttarkashi borders China and is known as as "Devbhumi," or "Land of the Gods," because of its numerous religious sites, notes CNN. One aim of the road project is to link those sites. (More India stories.)

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