Home News Prayers resound across India as Catholics seek divine intervention for trapped tunnel...

Prayers resound across India as Catholics seek divine intervention for trapped tunnel workers

Catholics in India gathered in prayer on the Solemnity of Christ the King Sunday, seeking divine intervention for the safe evacuation of workers trapped in a tunnel in the northern Uttarakhand state.

Archbishop Anil Joseph Thomas Couto of Delhi led a large assembly in the national capital, expressing confidence that collective prayers would bring about a miracle, ensuring the rescue of all trapped workers.

Special prayers for the workers were offered at the Sacred Heart Cathedral during the Christ the King feast celebration.

The event concluded with a procession near the cathedral through one of the capital’s renowned shopping and office complexes.

The workers, primarily from northern and eastern states, were building the 4.5km Silkyara tunnel, a project aimed at connecting famous Hindu pilgrimage sites in the mountainous region when a landslide on November 12 trapped them.

The call for prayers came following an appeal from the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI) on Saturday, urging the faithful to unite in prayer and show solidarity with the trapped workers and their families.

Archbishop Andrews Thazhath, President of CBCI, expressed deep concern for the well-being of those trapped and encouraged the community to seek divine intervention for their safety.

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As rescue operations faced challenges due to rocks, stones, and metal in the debris, as well as adverse weather conditions, officials reported that water, food, and oxygen were being provided to the trapped workers through a 6-inch pipe inserted into the rubble.

While some workers confirmed their well-being, the evacuation process remained slow and uncertain due to the fragile mountain conditions.

Despite the obstacles, officials assured that precautions were being taken during drilling to ensure the safety of workers.

Food stocks and oxygen supplies were being maintained, and drilling work was underway to create an alternative escape route.

Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami assured that all options were being explored, emphasizing the ongoing efforts to ensure the trapped workers’ safety.

The drilling operation, hindered by metallic obstructions, was making progress, with Mahmood Ahmed, Managing Director of the National Highways & Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited, stating that a vertical drilling operation reached 19.2 meters on November 26 out of the 86 meters required to reach the trapped workers.

He expressed optimism that, if no further obstacles arose, the operation could be completed by November 30.

The tunnel in Uttarkashi district is part of the federal government’s $1.5 billion highway project aimed at connecting famous Hindu pilgrimage sites, including Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath, and Badrinath.

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