Rescue workers on Tuesday came close to completing the 60-metre excavation required to reach 41 workers trapped on the other side of the rubble in the block section of the Sulkiara tunnel for the past 16 days. In no time all 41 workers will come out of this tunnel safely.
A pipe has been inserted through the debris to pull out the trapped workers. The authorities have given this information. The rescue operation was made possible with the help of rat killers from Bundelkhand region of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. The teams of SDRF, NDRF, BRO were continuously engaged in this rescue operation. The rescue operation started with excavators followed by Augur drilling machines. The final phase of the rescue ended with manual drilling up to 12 meters.
How the Rat Miners Accomplished the Rescue
On Monday night, a group of three rat miners entered the pipe and crawled over the debris. One man dug, another loaded the rubble into a trolley and a third placed the trolley on a shaft through which it was pulled out. Rat miners mined at an average speed of 0.9 meters per hour. A group of rat miners is replaced by a new group of 3 almost every hour, officials said. By 3 pm on Tuesday, they had drilled 12-13 meters to reach the workers. We inform you that all the 12 rats have come from Konkan, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.
How will people get out of the tunnel?
Once a hole is drilled, wide pipes are pushed through the rubble to create the tunnel, according to officials. Once this was done, a team from the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), wearing oxygen kits, crawled through the pipe with a wheeled stretcher, a rope and oxygen kits for the workers. Doctors and paramedics were then dispatched on wheeled stretchers, after which they examined the trapped workers.
All workers will be advised to exit the pipe tunnel. The stretcher was tied with ropes on both sides. Workers will be kicked out one by one. NDRF personnel will be the last to come out of the tunnel. The entire operation will last for three hours.
How were food and essential items sent to the stranded workers?
Workers trapped in the tunnel were being fed by compressed air through a 4-inch pipe. On November 20, rescue workers installed a large six-inch pipe to transfer solid food. Food items like dry fruits and roasted gram were being sent to the stranded people using earlier pipes. With the new pipe, aid workers are sending solid food items like chapatis, vegetables and fruits for their nutrition.
What help did Arger machines provide for the ultimate rescue?
The auger machine, which has a helical screw-like blade, known as an auger bit, that rotates to create a hole as it moves through the material, was crucial in completing the operation because Friday before it broke. It took 55 minutes. Drill up to meters. In the Sulkiara tunnel operation, the American Auger 600-1200, high-powered horizontal drilling was used. It is manufactured by American Augers, an American company specializing in trenchless technology. The machine can drill holes up to 5-10 feet in diameter. Debris or material picked up by machines during drilling is usually removed using an auger design. An auger has a helical screw-like blade that not only drills into the material but also pulls the excavated material out of the hole while rotating. The spiral design of the auger flights helps move the material up and away from the drilling point. It took one hour to drill a machine drilled meter and 4-5 hours to fit the pipes.