India tunnel collapse: 2nd pipeline “breakthrough” to send food to trapped workers, officials say



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Rescuers in India’s Himalayas said on Monday that they have pushed through a new pipeline to deliver cooked food to 41 workers trapped for more than a week in a collapsed tunnel in the town of Uttarkashi. They said preparations were under way to start vertical drilling to pull them out.

According to authorities, the men have been stuck in the highway tunnel in Uttarakhand state since it caved in early on Nov. 12 and are safe, with access to light, oxygen, dry food, water and medicines already being sent by a smaller pipe.

“We have achieved the first breakthrough which we were trying for the past nine days,” National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation director Anshu Manish Khalko said. “Now, our next work will be to take out the drill bit from the pipe and to re-establish communication with them and figure out if there are any obstructions in between.”

Authorities said the men have been receiving nuts, puffed rice, chickpeas and other dry food through the smaller pipe, but will now also get hot food including rice, lentils, soybeans and peas. Officials have not said what caused the 4.5 kilometer tunnel to cave in, but the region is prone to landslides, earthquakes and floods.

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