Cave heroes to the rescue again: Thailand and Norway aid India’s tunnel turmoil

Photo via AP

The government of India asked Thai and Norwegian rescuers from the Tham Luang cave rescue mission to help save 40 workers trapped by a tunnel collapse in the northern state of Uttarakhand.

The 4.5-kilometre tunnel in Uttarakhand collapsed on November 12 during construction. Around 50 people were working on the site. Some workers at the ends of the tunnel managed to escape but 40 workers are still trapped inside.

Both ends of the tunnel are blocked by concrete rubble and collapsed pylons. According to the New York Times, the effort to rescue the 40 workers is now in its fifth day. The Indian rescue team tried to drill through the ruins to communicate with the workers but failed.

The rescuers decided to install a pipe and were able to communicate with them, as well as provide air, food, water and a camera into the tunnel. The 40 workers are all safe and plans to rescue them continue.

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Following the successful rescue of 13 children and one man from the Tham Luang cave in Thailand’s Chaing Rai province, the Indian government sought help and advice from the successful rescue teams in both Thailand and Norway.

“The rescue team has contacted the Thai company that rescued the children trapped in the cave there. The Norwegian NGI agency has also been contacted to get specific suggestions for operations in the tunnel.”

The Standard reported that the tunnel is part of the Indian National Highway project, which aims to connect four pilgrimage sites in Uttarakhand. The project was started with a budget of over 55 million baht and is expected to be completed by 2022.

However, construction has been delayed and the scheduled opening has been put back until next year, 2024. The project has been the subject of much criticism, particularly from environmental activists. The site was also reportedly unsafe due to the risk of landslides, earthquakes and flooding.

Local people in the area have also protested against the projects after being affected by the construction, and many are now protesting against the delayed rescue operations.

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Petch Petpailin

Petpailin, or Petch, is a Thai translator and writer for The Thaiger who focuses on translating breakingThai news stories into English. With a background in field journalism, Petch brings several years of experience to the English News desk at The Thaiger. Before joining The Thaiger, Petch worked as a content writer for several known blogging sites in Bangkok, including Happio and The Smart Local. Her articles have been syndicated by many big publishers in Thailand and internationally, including the Daily Mail, The Sun and the Bangkok Post. She is a news writer who stops reading news on the weekends to spend more time cafe hopping and petting dwarf shrimp! But during office hours, you can find Petch on LinkedIn and you can reach her by email at

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