41 men are shown standing in a cramped area and speaking with rescuers in the first images of them being trapped for 10 days in an Indian Himalayan highway tunnel.
About a dozen of the trapped men were depicted wearing helmets and construction worker jackets over their clothing in front of an endoscopic camera in the 30-second video that was released by authorities on Tuesday. The tunnel’s lights served as the background.
A rescuer could be heard outside telling the men to present themselves one by one to verify their identities on the walkie-talkiego equipment that had been sent in. The men appeared worn out and anxious, some of them sporting thick beards.
As the men assemble close to the camera, rescuers can be heard saying, “We will bring you out safely, do not worry.”
According to authorities, a medical endoscopy camera was used to record the video after being pushed through another, wider pipeline on Monday that was 15 cm (6 inches) in diameter.
Rescuers had been using radios to communicate with the men inside before the camera was installed.
“Look after yourselves!”
Authorities said the 41 men, who have been trapped in the 4.5 km (3 mile) tunnel in Uttarakhand state since it collapsed early on November 12, are safe and have access to light, oxygen, food, water, and medications.
Although the cause of the cave-in has not been identified, the area is prone to flooding, earthquakes, and landslides. Snags in drilling through the debris in the mountainous terrain have slowed efforts to remove the workers.
On Tuesday, rescuers are scheduled to resume drilling horizontally through a 60-meter (195-foot) pile of debris in an effort to push through an opening big enough for the trapped men to escape.
A machine snag and concerns about a new collapse led to the suspension of drilling on Friday.
Five additional plans to remove the workers are being developed at the same time by the authorities, including vertical drilling from the mountain’s summit.
The 41 men were instructed to walk within the 2 km (1. 2 mile) of their confinement, engage in light yoga poses, and regularly converse with one another to keep them occupied, according to psychiatrist Abhishek Sharma, who was dispatched to the location by the state government.
According to Sharma, who added that the men were in good spirits and eager to get out of bed soon, “Sleep is very important for them… and as of now they have been sleeping well and have not reported any difficulties in sleeping.”
Prem Pokhriyal, a different doctor on the scene, advised the men to stay away from strenuous exercises because they might increase the amount of carbon dioxide gas that builds up inside the small space as they exhale.
The majority of the trapped men are low-wage workers from the north and east of India.
After speaking with him, Sunita Hembrom, the sister-in-law of Surendra Kisko, one of the workers imprisoned in the tunnel, told reporters, “He said he is doing fine.”
Take care of yourself, the kids, and the parents, he commanded. Just let us know what they’re doing to free us from this place.
In Uttarakhand, where significant portions of the state are prone to landslides, experts have issued warnings about the consequences of extensive construction.
The proposed tunnel is a component of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s infrastructure initiatives to shorten travel distances between some of the nations most well-known Hindu sites and to enhance access to key border regions with China.
Arnold Dix, the president of the International Tunneling and Underground Space Association, an Australian independent disaster investigator, has been among the foreign experts enlisted.