Uttarakhand disaster: Three more bodies recovered from tunnel, toll climbs to 54
Its unbearable, said his elder brother.His other relatives, who have been camping at Tapovan village since the day the tragedy struck, also broke down after identifying the body.Officials said the other approach at reaching the trapped workers by widening a hole drilled into the tunnel system does not appear to be working.PTI | Dehradun | Updated: 15-02-2021 18:03 IST | Created: 15-02-2021 18:03 IST
So far nine bodies have been pulled out from Adit tunnel at the National Thermal Power Corporation’s 's Tapovan-Vishnugad project site, choked by debris after the February 7 flood which ripped into two hydel plants in the Alaknanda river system.
''We had hoped Satyapal would return alive. But now we will have to return home with my brother's body. It's unbearable,'' said his elder brother.
His other relatives, who have been camping at Tapovan village since the day the tragedy struck, also broke down after identifying the body.
Officials said the other approach at reaching the trapped workers – by widening a hole drilled into the tunnel system – does not appear to be working. A camera or tube cannot be inserted as the hole is choked with sludge.
They continue to dredge out the sludge from the tunnel, making slow progress.
Asked about the chances of survival of those missing or trapped, the district magistrate said, ''We must always try to be hopeful when the circumstances are adverse.'' Families of some of the missing people continue their vigil near the tunnel, plucking up the courage to take a look every time a body is brought out. But many are beginning now to return to their homes.
Alam Singh Pundir's body, the first to be pulled out of the tunnel on Sunday, has also been handed over to his relatives who arrived in Tapovan just a day after the flash flood.
Twenty-nine of the 54 bodies found so far – in the tunnel and elsewhere along the river – have been identified.
Those pulled out from the tunnel so far appear to be of workers who ran towards its mouth in an attempt to get out but got bogged down in the slush that was gushing in, an NTPC officials said.
''We have absolute faith in God. Our son will definitely return,'' the electrician’s father said.
The last rites of those pulled out dead are being carried out after samples are taken for DNA tests to help establish their identities.
Kits with foodgrain and other essentials have been distributed among residents of over a dozen villages that were cut off from the district headquarters after the disaster, possibly triggered by an avalanche.
Electricity supply has been restored in all affected villages except Pang, where solar lanterns have been provided to residents for the time being, the district magistrate said.
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