U’khand flood: 2 more bodies found in tunnel, toll reaches 58

With the rescue operation expected to wind up in next few days, rescuers on Tuesday found two more bodies inside a tunnel of the disaster-hit Tapovan project in Chamoli district in Uttarakhand taking the total number of bodies recovered so far to 58.

Uttarakhand Director General Police (DGP) Ashok Kumar Monday night said he was expecting that the rescue operation in the disaster hit Chamoli may wind up in the next 3-4 days. “I think the rescue operation may wind up in 3-4 days. By that time, we may be able to cover everything. But if the need be, the rescue operation may continue for more days, may be for another one month,” said Kumar.

Meanwhile, two more bodies were found inside the tunnel where the rescue operation was going at a slow pace due to the presence of heavy sludge and also as a precautionary measure. The rescuers were digging slowly inside the tunnel so that bodies should not get hammered.

During the excavation work inside the tunnel, 11 bodies have been found so far, officials said. “We are expecting more bodies as we are not hoping for survivors now,” admitted a top official. There is still no contact with the remaining trapped people inside.

The rescuers are working on two places — one inside the tunnel and other at the remains of the Rishiganga project in Reni. They have stopped the drilling process inside the tunnel, said Yashwant Chauhan, Superintendent of Police (SP) Chamoli.

After days of digging and excavation works, jawans of army, ITBP, NDRF and SDRF, who are engaged in the rescue works, had managed to open a sizeable portion of the tunnel. Mucking inside the tunnel has reached 155 meters, said an NTPC statement.