Uttarakhand Floods: 2 cops among 32 dead, rescuers race against time to save workers trapped in Tapovan tunnel
New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: The death toll in the Uttarakhand glacier disaster has mounted to 32 after five more recovered on Tuesday from the debris in Raini village. Meanwhile, around 170 people are still missing, which include 30 workers trapped in a tunnel at a power project site in Tapovan.
Two policemen deployed at the plant are among the deceased. According to News18, the rescuers have recovered body one of the workers trapped in the tunnel.
Huge boulders embedded in the debris inside the Tapovan tunnel are causing the biggest hindrance to the ongoing search operations at the NTPC's damaged hydel project site here, ITBP Deputy Commandant A K Dabral said.
The combined rescue team has reached up to 130 metres inside the tunnel but there is a lot of debris clogging it, he said. People feared trapped inside the tunnel should be at around 200 metres, he said.
The Army, Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) are putting up coordinated efforts to rescue the remaining workers trapped in the tunnel. With the hours ticking by inexorably, fears escalated about those missing since the disaster struck on Sunday morning.
The missing people include those working at NTPC's 480 MW Tapovan-Vishnugad project and the 13.2 MW Rishiganga Hydel Project and villagers whose homes nearby were washed away.
The workers have been trapped in the 12-ft-high and about 2.5-km-long 'head race tunnel' (HRT).
"Clearing of debris and slush continued the whole night. About 120 metres of the tunnel entrance stretch is now clear," ITBP spokesperson Vivek Kumar Pandey said in Delhi.
"The height of the accumulated slush has reduced more. ITBP personnel are waiting to enter as soon as any movement deep inside the tunnel is possible," he said.
A senior official added that the rescuers have not been able to make any contact with those stuck inside but are hopeful for "signs of life".
Posted By: Abhinav Gupta