A file picture shows people looking at the damaged Dhauliganga hydro power project in Chamoli district, Uttarakhand, India, 10 February 2021. At least 32 people died and nearly 150 are still missing after part of the Nanda Devi glacier fell into the river on 07 February 2021, triggering a flood that burst open a dam in the Tapovan area of Uttarakhand's Chamoli district. EFE-EPA/FILE/RAJAT GUPTA

40 workers trapped after tunnel collapses in India

New Delhi, Nov 13 (EFE).- Forty miners remained trapped in an under-construction tunnel a day after it collapsed in a northern India mountainous region, officials said on Monday.

Rescuers had located the trapped workers and assured that they would be evacuated safely.

A police officer told EFE that the evacuation would be completed by Monday evening even as huge piles of debris challenged the rescue operations.

There is a proper supply of oxygen in the tunnel and the workers are safe, he said.

The miners were trapped Sunday morning while working on the tunnel, part of a highway, being built to connect four major Hindu religious sites in the ecologically sensitive Uttarkashi district of the Himalyan Uttarakhand state.

Images of the operation on social media showed rescue teams inside the tunnel, using heavy machinery to make their way through the rubble while dozens of workers and police officers monitor the scene.

Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami told reporters that the administration was in touch with the workers inside and had sent food for them.

Fires and accidents are frequent in India, often due to the poor state of infrastructure and lack of maintenance, factors fueled by corruption and illegal practices.

At least 1,630 people died in 2021 due to the collapse of structures, according to the latest annual report on accidental deaths and suicides in India. EFE