Efforts are underway to rescue 40 construction workers trapped underneath rubble after the mountain tunnel under construction collapsed on Sunday in Northern India.
As many as 40 men were working in the tunnel, part of the Himalayan highway project in the town of Uttarkashi, when part of the passageway leading to the entrance gave way.
Police Superintendent of Uttarkashi, Arpan Yaduvanshi, said, “We are in touch with the men inside. All of them are alright, and we are communicating with them,” he said. “We are all working hard to get them all out.”
Necessary measures and basic aid like water and oxygen are being supplied to those trapped underneath the rubble, authorities say.
Headway and progress have been made, as rescuers expect those trapped underneath to be reached in 24 hours or more, according to those leading the rescue.
The tunnel is part of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Char Dham Highway project, a multimillion-dollar infrastructure plan to improve connectivity in the state of Uttarakhand and better access to important pilgrimage locations.
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Disasters like this aren’t new to India, a country that has seen a massive surge in infrastructure development to improve transportation networks.
Earlier this year, about a dozen workers lost their lives after a bridge under construction collapsed.
In June, a four-lane concrete bridge that was being built across the River Ganges in the eastern state of Bihar collapsed for the second time in just over a year, raising questions about the quality of its construction.
Last October, a recently repaired suspension bridge gave way in the town of Morbi in Gujarat, killing 135 people. India is expected to continue with infrastructure development as the country emerges as an economic powerhouse and a regional and potential global superpower