In a major breakthrough, the rescue teams at the Uttarakhand tunnel collapse site on Tuesday completed the pipe laying work inside the tunnel. 

With this, the operation to bring out the 41 trapped labourers will soon commence. The workmen have been trapped in the tunnel at Uttarkashi since November 12.

On Monday, rescue efforts received a shot in the arm as the debris and broken parts of the Augur drilling machine were cleared from the horizontal passage. Manual drilling by rat miners had commenced on the same day.

Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami in a social media post said that pipe laying inside the tunnel has been completed and the labourers will be brought out soon. 

To fast track manual drilling, the government had brought in rat miners who are proficient in drilling under closed and cramped spaces. Such miners are widely used in coal mining. A team of six people has been formed to work in two groups of three persons each.

This horizontal drilling, from the Sylkyara end, was being done by National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation (NHIDCL).

All the necessary arrangements for the evacuation and medical check up of the labourers have been made.