Two-Minute Miracle That Saved 12 Trapped In Uttarakhand Tunnel
Joshimath (Uttarakhand): For hours until help arrived, 12 workers stayed that way — hanging on to iron bars protruding from the roof of the dark tunnel, hauling themselves up to stay above the icy cold water that had gushed in on Sunday morning.
The 12 workers, who were rescued from the under-construction output tunnel at the Tapovan-Vishnugad NTPC Hydel Power Project in Uttarakhand, recalled that they had no hope they would survive, but a mobile phone proved a godsend, The Indian Express reported.
“There is usually no mobile network in the tunnel but on Sunday, we got it for two minutes, It was enough to make a call to one of our officers,” said 26-year-old Basant Bahadur, one of those rescued from the tunnel on Sunday afternoon.
He along with his co-workers are now recuperating at the ITBP Hospital in Joshimath.
In another development, the death toll from the Uttarakhand glacier disaster rose to 31 with the recovery of five more bodies on Tuesday, news agency PTI reported.
Meanwhile, personnel of the ITBP, NDRF and Army worked to locate around 170 people, mostly labourers working at two power projects, who are still reported missing in Chamoli district.
Officials said there was a multi-agency operation going on to rescue around 35 workers feared trapped inside a swamped tunnel at the Tapovan power project in Chamoli district on Tuesday.
Earlier during the day, Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat conducted an aerial survey of areas affected due to the glacier disaster and took stock of the situation.
Also on Tuesday, Union Home Minister Amit Shah informed Rajya Sabha that the Uttarakhand government has stated there is now no danger of flooding in the lower areas and water level is also receding. Electricity is restored in most areas and BRO are carrying out repair work of five damaged bridges, the minister was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.