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Rescuers manage to evacuate two workers trapped in a tunnel

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Bilaspur (Himachal Pradesh): Rescuers on Monday managed to penetrate the roof of a tunnel and came close to evacuating two workers stuck in it for over 200 hours in Himachal Pradesh, officials said.

Picture credit: thestatesman.com
Picture credit: thestatesman.com

“We have managed to drill a hole of about one foot at the roof of the tunnel. Now, we are trying to enlarge it so that our men can easily enter the tunnel to safely evacuate the workers,” said Jaideep Singh, commanding officer of the National Disaster Response Force.

He said the two trapped workers — Mani Ram and Satish Tomar — are in regular touch with the rescuers through a microphone linked with a webcam. They have been provided dry fruits and glucose.

However, the whereabouts of the third worker, Hirdya Ram, are not known yet.

“As per our assessment, there is an accumulation of around three feet groundwater inside the tunnel. The water at this level is not a problem for the safety of the trapped workers. Once our men manage to enter inside the tunnel, they would safely bring out the trapped workers,” he added.

A snag in the drilling machine hampered the evacuation throughout the day on Sunday.

A vertical shaft of 42 metres beneath the ground was dug to rescue the workers.

Of the 1.2-km proposed tunnel of the Kiratpur-Manali expressway road project, 275 metres was excavated when disaster struck on September 12.

The contract for tunnel laying, involving an outlay of Rs.82 crore, has been assigned to the Chandigarh-based Himalayan Construction Co, three of whose workers, belonging to the hill state, were trapped.

(IANS)

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Heavy Snowfall Expected Across Himachal Pradesh

Shimla recorded the minimum temperature at 3.7 degrees Celsius, while it was 0.6 degree in Manali and 2.8 degrees in Dharamsala

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Moderate to heavy snowfall may occur across Himachal Pradesh in the next one-two days, the Met Office said on Wednesday.

Residents and tourists have been advised not to venture in the high hills as snapping of road links are high.

The supply of essential commodities and transportation of people may get hampered in remote areas of the state, a government official told IANS.

Hills of Shimla, Kullu, Mandi, Sirmaur, Chamba, Lahaul-Spiti and Kinnaur districts are likely to experience moderate to heavy snowfall from January 4-6, an official of the meteorological office here told IANS.

He said the western disturbances — storm systems originating from Caspian Sea and moving across the Afghanistan-Pakistan region — are likely to remain active in the region till January 9.

Avoid travelling as snow may block Himachal roads.

Most of the prominent tourist towns like Shimla, Narkanda, Kufri, Dalhousie and Manali are likely to have light to moderate spells of snowfall, he added.

Kalpa in Kinnaur district saw mild snowfall. It recorded a low of minus 3.4 degree Celsius.

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Keylong in Lahaul-Spiti district was the coldest place in the state with a low of minus 4.6 degree.

Shimla recorded the minimum temperature at 3.7 degrees Celsius, while it was 0.6 degree in Manali and 2.8 degrees in Dharamsala. (IANS)