Even as Mani Ram and Satish were rescued after relentless efforts by the team of engineers, the third worker remained untraceable. Teams of National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) have been tirelessly working for the past nine days to save the three labourers.

A snag in the drilling machine hampered the evacuation throughout the day yesterday. A vertical shaft of 42 metres beneath the ground was dug to rescue the workers. Of the 1.2 km proposed tunnel of the Kiratpur-Manali expressway road project, 275 metres was excavated when disaster struck on September 12.

The contract for tunnel laying, involving an outlay of Rs 82 crore, has been assigned to the Chandigarh-based Himalayan Construction Co, three of whose workers, belonging to the hill state, were trapped.

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