Three special aircraft of the Indian Air Force on Wednesday brought a 25-tonne heavy auger machine to speed up efforts to rescue 40 labourers trapped in the Silkyara tunnel of Uttarakhand's Uttarkashi district, part of which collapsed after a landslide on Sunday.
The auger machine, having a penetration rate of the new machine is 4-5 metres per hour, was brought from Delhi.
The auger machine, brought in three batches by Hercules aircraft of the Air Force, landed at Chinyalisaur airport. It was taken to the tunnel site through a green corridor.
The first Hercules aircraft of the Air Force, carrying parts of the new machine from Hindon Airbase in New Delhi, landed at Chinyalisaur airstrip at around 1 p.m. on Wednesday, after which the parts were transported by truck to the Silkyara Tunnel at around 4.45 p.m.
Colonel Deepak Patil, in charge of the relief and rescue operation, said that the Jack and Push Earth Auger machine, made in the US, is very advanced, and works fast. Now the military operation team has also joined the relief and rescue mission.
"Apart from this, the help of special teams from Norway and Thailand is also being taken to rescue 40 labourers trapped in the tunnel. A rescue company in Thailand has been contacted. This is the same company that had rescued children trapped in a cave in Thailand. Suggestions have been also sought from Norway's NGI agency. Besides, suggestions are also being taken from experts of Indian Railways, RVNL, RITES and IRCON," he added.