Dehradun (SunstarTV Bureau): According to ITBP spokesperson Vivek Pandey report, at least 18 bodies have been recovered from the spot while other person information has yet to be ascertained. Nearly about 202 people went missing or feared dead.
Meanwhile, multiple agencies joined their helping hands to rescue at least 30 workers trapped in a tunnel at a power project site.
The 202 people are reportedly missing include those working at Hydel power project sites as well as villagers nearby whose homes were washed away with the force of the raging waters, the officials said.
Two power projects NTPC’s 480 MW Tapovan-Vishnugad project and the 13.2 MW Rishi Ganga Hydel Project were extensively damaged with scores of laborers caught in tunnels as the waters came rushing in.
Rescue efforts in the affected areas near Joshimath, gained momentum with teams of the Army, Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) coordinating to rescue 30-35 people feared trapped in a tunnel at the Tapovan-Vishnugad project.
The State Emergency Operation Centre said 27 people were rescued alive. Of these, 12 were saved from the smaller of the the two tunnels at the Tapovan-Vishnugad project site and 15 from the Rishi Ganga site.
Uttarakhand Director General of Police Ashok Kumar added that efforts were focused on rescuing 30-35 labourers trapped in a 250-metre tunnel at Tapovan. Two villages are cut off and essentials are being supplied to them.
“Our teams worked overnight to rescue about 30 workers who are trapped in the tunnel. Specialised equipment for such operations has been deployed. We are hopeful we will able to rescue everyone,” ITBP spokesperson Vivek Kumar Pandey told PTI in Delhi.
“There is a huge amount of debris inside the tunnel. About 80 metres inside the tunnel is cleared and accessible, and it looks like about 100 more metres of debris will have to be cleared,” he added.
Pandey said nearly 300 ITBP personnel are currently deployed at the site.
Another official said 34 people are estimated to be trapped in the ‘head race tunnel’ or HRT. However, the tunnel has only one entry, an official said.
Three of those rescued on Sunday evening were admitted to the ITBP hospital at Joshimath, nearly 25 km from the Tapovan power project site, as they were feeling uneasy, the officials said. They are stable now.