Three bodies recovered from Tapovan tunnel, toll in Uttarakhand disaster climbs to 41

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Dehradun/Tapovan, Feb 14 (PTI) Three bodies were recovered on Sunday from the Tapovan tunnel following a seven-day operation to rescue around 30 people trapped in it after a flashflood-hit Joshimath area of Chamoli district, senior officials said.

These are the first bodies to have been recovered from the tunnel where people were at work when the calamity occurred last Sunday.The recoveries take the toll in the disaster to 41. A massive search and rescue operation has been underway in the tunnel at Tapovan-Vishnugad hydel project site.

NDRF Commandant RK Tiwari said the three bodies recovered on Sunday were found in the Adit tunnel where muck clearing has been going on, Two of the bodies have been identified. One hails from Narendra Nagar in Tehri district and another from Kalsi in Dehradun district, Chamoli District Magistrate Swati S Bhadauria said.

She said a helicopter has been kept ready at the site to provide medical help to survivors, if any.

The NTPC's Tapovan-Vishnugad hydel project had suffered extensive damage in the flashflood which also demolished the Rishiganga hydel project.

Rescue teams continued widening a hole into the Silt Flushing Tunnel at the project site in Tapovan where around 30 people are believed to be trapped. PTI ALM DV DV