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Uttarakhand glacier disaster: Toll rises to 28; operation to rescue those trapped in Tapovan tunnel on

Prime News, National, Natural Calamity, Joshimath/ Dehradun, February 9:- The death toll from the Uttarakhand glacier disaster rose to 28 with the recovery of two more bodies, even as a multi-agency operation to rescue around 30 workers feared trapped inside a swamped tunnel at the Tapovan power project in Chamoli district continued on Tuesday (February 9), officials said.

Around 170 people are still missing after the Sunday’s disaster apparently caused by a glacier burst, according to the latest data.

The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) said its personnel recovered two bodies from debris in Raini village on Tuesday morning. The workers have been trapped in the 12-foot-high and about 2.5-km-long ‘head race tunnel’ (HRT).

“Clearing of debris and slush continued the whole night. About 120 metres of the tunnel entrance stretch is now clear,” ITBP spokesperson Vivek Kumar Pandey said in Delhi.

“Height of accumulated slush reduced more. ITBP personnel are waiting to enter as soon as any movement deep inside the tunnel is possible,” he said.

A senior official, however, said the rescuers have not been able to make any contact with those stuck inside but they are hopeful for “signs of life.”

Relief is also being distributed by helicopters among residents of more than a dozen villages cut off due to the washing away of a bridge in the avalanche at Malari. Private and IAF helicopters have so far distributed around 100 ration kits in the affected areas of 13 villages with a total population of around 2,500, officials said. (Inputs: Agencies, NGB)

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