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Rescuers dig for workers trapped in collapsed tunnel in India

A landslide caused the tunnel to collapse in northern India. Associated Press/State Disaster Response Fund

Rescuers dig for workers trapped in collapsed tunnel in India

Police in the Himalayan state of Uttarakhand on Monday said all 40 workers inside the tunnel are alive, and rescuers have established contact with the group. A landslide on Sunday morning caused part of the tunnel to cave in while they were working. Rescuers delivered oxygen, food, and water to the men through a pipeline, said state police chief Ashok Kumar. Excavators and other heavy machines were brought in to dig an escape route for the workers.

Is the tunnel part of a larger project? The tunnel is part of the Indian government’s national highway project to connect Hindu pilgrimage sites. The Char Dham project is projected to cost about $1.5 billion and include more than 550 miles of roadway in North India. Uttarakhand authorities in January halted road construction and moved hundreds of people to temporary shelters after sinking land in the region damaged hundreds of homes. 

Dig deeper: Read Bethel McGrew’s report in WORLD Magazine about India’s “untouchables” turning to Christianity.

Lauren Canterberry

Lauren Canterberry is a reporter for WORLD. She graduated from the World Journalism Institute and the University of Georgia with a degree in journalism, both in 2017. She worked as a local reporter in Texas and now lives in Georgia with her husband.

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