Uttarakhand disaster: Rescue ops on at Tapovan tunnel; 32 bodies recovered

at 3:46 pm
Tapovan tunnel
ITBP and other agencies are cutting the loose ends of pipes and wires inside the Tapovan tunnel as rescue operation continues.

New Delhi (NVI): With more than three days since the flash flood struck Chamoli district of Uttarakhand, rescue operations at the 2.5 km long Tapovan tunnel are still on in full swing.

Meanwhile, out of the 204 missing, a total of 32 bodies have been recovered while 8 of them have been identified so far, says a report by the State Emergency Operations Centre.

The water level inside the tunnel is constantly surging and specialised equipment is being used to access those trapped inside.

Rescue agencies are now deploying advanced technologies such as a helicopter carrying a laser with electromagnetic pulse imager for an aerial survey over the tunnel, and a camera drone to be sent inside the tunnel.

While rescue operation officials are hopeful of getting ‘signs of life’, they have not been able to establish contact with 25-35 workers who are trapped inside the tunnel.

The flash floods after the glacier burst in Chamoli’s Joshimath on February 7, led to heavy losses to the NTPC’s 480 MW Tapovan-Vishnugad hydropower project and 13.2 MW Rishiganga Hydel project besides the loss of life and cattle.

More than 600 personnel from the Indian Army, Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) have been deployed in Chamoli district for search and rescue operations.