Drones, remote-sensing equipment being used to locate those trapped in Tapovan tunnel

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Dehradun/Tapovan, Feb 10 (PTI) Rescue efforts by multi-agency security personnel were intensified on Wednesday with the help of drones and remote-sensing equipment to locate those trapped inside the Tapovan tunnel, which is chock-a-block with tonnes of debris.

'All strategies at the moment are focussed on rescuing those trapped inside the tunnel with the help of all the resources at our disposal, including drones and remote-sensing equipment,' Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Nilesh Anand Bharne, the Chief Spokesperson of the Uttarakhand police, told PTI on the spot.

Around 25-35 people, who were at work inside the tunnel at the time the glacier disaster struck in Uttarakhand's Chamoli district on Sunday, are trapped inside it.

The rescue teams have so far progressed to 80 metres inside the tunnel and have to make their way through tonnes of debris for at least 100 metres more to reach those trapped inside, the DIG said.

Drilling through the debris has become more difficult with the silt inside the tunnel drying up and getting harder, Bharne said.

So far, 32 bodies have been recovered from different places in the avalanche-hit areas of Chamoli, of which eight have been identified, while 174 people are still missing, the State Emergency Control Centre in Dehradun said.

More than 600 Army, Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) and Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) personnel are engaged in the search-and-rescue operations. PTI ALM CORR RC