40 laborers are trapped for the last 6 days after an under construction tunnel (Uttarakhand Tunnel Collapse) collapsed in Uttarkashi, Uttarakhand.
Rescue operation is going on 24 hours, but no success has been achieved yet in evacuating the workers.
Indian Army and Indian Air Force are also helping in the rescue operation. In extremely challenging conditions, the Air Force (IAF) transported a rescue equipment weighing about 27500 kg to a gravel airstrip in the high mountains of Uttarakhand, so that drilling could be done to remove the debris and the work of evacuating the workers could be started. .
Of course this operation is very difficult and there is no scope for any kind of mistake in it. Because, the length of Advanced Landing Ground (ALG) in Dharasu, Uttarakhand is very short. Air Force planes were coming with high landing weight due to heavy rescue equipment.
People with direct knowledge of the matter said that the weight of this equipment was equal to a fully loaded large truck.
Before getting approval for this mission, the pilots of American-origin C-130J Super Hercules had taken stock of the runway condition and the problems faced during the operation.
Sources said that to ensure that the advance landing ground was suitable for such important operations, a second helicopter was inspected.
Dharasu Advance Landing Ground is about 30 km from Silkyara Tunnel. It is built at a height of about 3,000 feet above sea level.
Despite the short and narrow airstrip of 3600 feet (1.1 km), it was the nearest advance landing ground for Air Force aircraft.
Sources said that 2 C-130Js had flown to Agra and Palam to check the rescue equipment and to check whether landing at Dharasu Advanced Landing Ground could be done or not. Earlier Dharasu ALG was declared unfit for regular operation of C-130J.
This entire mission of the Air Force depended on two important aspects i.e. the fitness report of Dharasu Advanced Landing Ground and the success of the operation.
Sources said the mission was launched amid the challenges of low visibility conditions during departure, heavyweight landing on a short and narrow airstrip and offloading (cargo) in limited space.
Dharasu ALG did not even have the special machines required to unload the heavyweight equipment from the C-130J.
To avoid delays in unloading goods, a temporary earthen ramp was built at the local level.
A source said, “The complete professionalism of the Indian Air Force aircrew flying the C-130J was evident. The entire operation was carried out in less than 5 hours.”
Lockheed Martin has said on its website that the C-130J goes where other aircraft cannot go for airlift. This reflects its workhorse status as it has 25 operators in 21 countries. Wherever the call for help comes, the C-130J sets out on a mission.
Let us tell you that the tunnel collapse accident in Uttarkashi happened at 4 am on November 12. 200 meters away from the entry point of the tunnel, soil caved in and 40 laborers working there got trapped.
These workers are from Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Odisha, Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh.
Now help is being taken from special rescue teams of Thailand and Norway to rescue 40 laborers trapped in Uttarkashi Tunnel. In 2018, a Thai rescue firm successfully rescued 12 children and their football coach who were trapped in a cave there for 17 days.
The trapped laborers are safe and they are being given oxygen, medicines, food and water through air compressed pipes.