Latest Global News | Uttarakhand tunnel crash: We are going to get them out for sure, vows Australia tunnelling expert Arnold Dix | Dehradun News

DEHRADUN/SILKYARA: Arnold Dix, president of Geneva-based International Tunnelling and Underground Space Association, arrived on Monday morning at the Silkyara tunnel site where rescue efforts have been underway for past 9 days to save 41 trapped workers.

Dix, who hails from Australia, is widely recognised as the world’s leading expert on underground tunnelling and issues associated with it from an operational safety perspective.

Soon after reaching the site, Dix spent the better part of the morning inside the tunnel to check the rescue operation, following which he trekked to the top of the hillock to check the spot from where vertical drilling had been planned.

“We are going to get them out for sure. We have got the best experts for this Himalayan geology here. We are going to find a solution and get them out,” Dix said after reviewing the work at the site with officials of National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited (NHIDCL) and other agencies.

Commenting on the five-pronged strategy proposed by the PMO which is spearheading the operations, Dix said that “the strategy looks good to me.”

Later in the evening, after a 6-inch pipe was successfully pushed through the collapsed portion of the tunnel, paving the way for larger quantities of food to be supplied to workers trapped inside (who were till now subsisting on dry rations pushed through a 4-inch pipe), Dix told TOI, “This is a huge achievement. It proves there is a way through the collapse and now, we can think more carefully on how we can get through.”

Dix, who is a professor of engineering as well as a lawyer, has investigated the underground aspects of the 9/11 bombings besides the London and Madrid bombings.

He specialises in underground and transportation infrastructure and provides advice on risks associated with underground construction.

(With inputs by Shivani Azad)