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Indian rescuers say very close to reaching 41 men trapped in tunnel

28/11/2023 12:59
        Rescuers in India are just six or seven metres (20-23 feet) away from 41 men trapped in a collapsed highway tunnel in the Himalayas for more than two weeks, and are confident of drilling through to reach them on Tuesday, officials said.
        
        The men, low-wage workers from India's poorest states, have been stuck in the 4.5 km (3 miles) tunnel in Uttarakhand state since it collapsed on Nov. 12.
        
        So-called rat miners, brought in on Monday to drill through the rocks and gravel by hand after machinery failed, made good progress overnight, officials said.
        "About 6 or 7 metres are left," said Deepak Patil, a senior officer leading the rescue, adding that more than 50 metres of an estimated 60 metres of debris had been bored through.
        
        "Sure, 100%," he said when asked if the men could be reached on Tuesday.
        
        The men have been getting food, water, light, oxygen and medicines through a pipe but efforts to dig a tunnel to reach and rescue them with drilling machines have been frustrated by a series of snags.
        



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