| 22 February 2024, Thursday |

‘Rat miners’ burrow to rescue 41 men stuck in Indian tunnel

In order to extract 41 construction workers who had been stuck in a tunnel in the Indian Himalayas for more than two weeks due to the failure of powerful machinery, rescuers on Monday dispatched “rat miners” to drill through a small conduit.

The 4.5 km (3 miles) tunnel in Uttarakhand state has trapped the men, low-wage laborers from India’s poorest states, since it collapsed on November 12.

They have been receiving supplies like as food, water, light, oxygen, and medications through a pipe, but attempts to excavate a tunnel have encountered numerous difficulties with machinery.

Attempts to drill a tunnel horizontally through the debris trapping the men have been plagued by damage to machinery and rescuers began drilling by hand after clearing away the broken equipment inside the narrow evacuation pipe.

The drilling, removal of debris and pushing the 900-millimetre (3 feet) wide evacuation pipe further is now being done from inside the pipe by a team of six “rat miners” from central India, who officials described as “skilled workers”.

  • Reuters