At least 12 people were rescued from Uttarakhand’s Tapovan tunnel while many others remain trapped after it was blocked following a glacier burst in Uttarakhand’s Chamoli, the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) said on Sunday, 7 February. Meanwhile, eight bodies have been recovered from the rescue operation in Tapovan's Dhauliganga, reported ANI on Monday, 8 February.
Many people are said to still be trapped in tunnel number 1.
ITBP Public Relations Officer (PRO) Vivek Pandey told ANI that initially 16 people were reported to be rescued but there were only 12.
“Right now we are focusing on two areas which is tunnel number one and two of a power project in Tapovan. It was reported that 16 workers are trapped. In rescue operation 12 people were rescued from tunnel number 2. It was a 900-metre-long tunnel. The snout of the tunnel was covered with debris and we rescued 12 men one by one. Initially it was reported that 16 people have been trapped but there were 12 people inside,” he told ANI.
“Out of 12, three were shifted to the hospital and now we are focusing on tunnel number 1. It is said that some 30 people have been trapped inside that tunnel,” he added.
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In a press release, Uttarakhand DGP Ashok Kumar said that the rescue work at the National Thermal Power Corporation's tunnel had to be halted due to a rise in water level.
Earlier visuals shared by the ITBP showed personnel helping people clamber out of the tunnel. ITBP personnel were later seen carrying rescued persons on stretchers to the nearest road for medical treatment.
At least three persons taken out from the tunnel by ITBP had to be provided with oxygen support as they were found unconscious inside, sources told The Quint.
Rescue operations underway at Tapovan tunnel.
Home Minister Amit Shah, too, took to Twitter to share a clip of ITBP personnel conducting rescue operations at the tunnel and lauded them.
At least 7 people were confirmed dead and 170 were reported to be missing at the time of writing this report.
Govt, Authorities Spring Into Action; Ops Underway
The Central and the state governments sprung into action after the tragedy struck.
Along with the ITBP, the Indian Army, the Indian Air Force (IAF), the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and the National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC) have also been deployed for the search and rescue operations.
Defence officials, according to ANI, have further said that two C-130J Super Hercules with three companies of National Disaster Response Force and 15 tonnes of other loads and equipment were sent from Hindan airbase in Ghaziabad.
While Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved an ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh each from the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund (PMNRF) for the kin of the deceased, the state government, too, has promised financial assistance of Rs 4 lakh each.