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Uttarakhand: Death toll rises to 43 as rescuers retrieve 5 more bodies from Tapovan tunnel

Uttarakhand flood news: Death toll from the Uttarakhand glacier disaster which provoked floods in Chamoli on February 7 rose to 43 as five more bodies were recovered from the sludge-choked Tapovan tunnel.

The death toll from the Uttarakhand glacier disaster, triggering massive flooding of the Alaknanda and Dhauliganga rivers on February 7, rose to 43 with the recovery of five more bodies from the Tapovan tunnel on Sunday morning. The search operation was intensified following the recovery of more bodies and many are still believed to be trapped inside the sludge-choked Tapovan tunnel.

Uttarakhand, the rescue operation in the NTPC tunnel at Tapowan in Chamoli district continued throughout last night. 25 to 35 people are feared trapped in the tunnel.

Rescuers have managed to recover two bodies from the Tunnel this morning. Till date, 39 bodies have been recovered and around 165 people are still missing. After almost seven days of continuous search operation the rescue teams have recovered two bodies from inside the main tunnel.

Mucking from this main tunnel is going on continuously and the rescue team has reached 136 meters in this tunnel which is said to be 180 meters long. Vertical drilling with new and more powerful drilling machine also continued the whole night to expand the diameter of the hole which leads to another tunnel.

Agencies are hoping that this second tunnel can give an idea about the trapped people. Rescue work has also started on the barrage area over the tunnel where a maximum number of workers were working at that time when the flash flood came.

The marathon rescue operations at the NTPC’s Tapovan-Vishnugad hydel project which suffered heavy damages in the Rishi Ganga avalanche entered the eighth day on Sunday. So far, 41 bodies have been recovered from the affected areas while more than 160 people are still missing. More than 20 people are believed to be trapped inside the Tapovan tunnel.

Meanwhile, an SDRF team has reached the lake that has formed upstream of Raini village, near Tapovan and the situation there is normal.

A Manuel early warning system has also been established from Tapovan to pang village to in case of the sudden water rise in the Dhauli Ganga river. These teams have been deputed at a certain distance and are equipped with binocular and satellite phones.

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