Rescuers in India have been desperately working around the clock for one week to save those trapped after an illegal abandoned tunnel collapsed in the northern state of Himachal Pradesh. Over 150 people are feared to have been buried in the rubble, and the rescue team have had to switch to a new approach in their attempts to locate the trapped workers.
The Himachal Pradesh divisional fire officer, Virender Sharma, said: “We are focusing on drilling to find space where the trapped persons could be. We had initially diverted water from the mountain stream which had filled the mud and slush blocking the way but it failed.”
Families of some of the workers and state officials who were present at the scene of the collapse have organised volunteers to help and have turned up with equipment to help with the mission. These include JCBs, shovels, and air pumps.
Local politician Govind Thakur said: “People have come from near and far to help in the rescue work. Life gas detectors and thermal cameras are used to search for any signs of life.”
Sadly for those involved and desperate for good news, so far rescuers have not made contact with any of the people trapped in the tunnel. Rescue workers will take a short break on Monday to plan out their next steps. The families of the people trapped inside have told the press that their utmost priority is to find their loved ones.
It is a harrowing situation for workers and their families, and for the rescuers alike. We pray for those that remain trapped and the hundreds of volunteers and officials putting their lives on the line to make sure that the search is successful.