As part of the efforts to rescue the 41 workers trapped at the Silkyara tunnel collapse site, international tunnelling expert Arnold Dix conducted an inspection at the tunnel site on Monday.
President of International Tunnelling and Underground Space Association, Arnold Dix arrived at the location site in Silkyara, Uttarkashi, to aid in the rescue efforts and expressed optimism over the prospects of rescue and relief operations that are underway.
After inspecting the tunnel as well as the area above it from where the vertical drilling operation will commence, Dix seemed optimistic about the rescue operation.
"It is looking good but we have to decide whether it's good or a trap, because it's looking very positive. I have got the best experts for this Himalayan geology here, I'm just one," Professor Dix said.
"We are going back to the office to talk about what we've seen and we need to compare about what we have seen here above the tunnel with what we know about what is happening in the tunnel. This actually helps us make the proper decision because we are rescuing those 41 men and we are not letting anyone get hurt while we're doing that but to that, we need to be very careful," he added.
Arnold Dix is working alongside multiple agencies that have mounted a four-pronged approach to the rescue operation. One of the options that is being worked on is drilling vertically from above the tunnel face.
"I need to see what's going on underneath, I need to go look down at the bottom, it's like any complex job you need to check all around it, and discuss it, but at the moment it's looking very positive," Dix said.
"What I know is that something is going to happen. Things are happening, the team here is so focused on the rescue and so focused that no one is hurt that we are taking our time to make the very best decisions we can with the information we got, knowing that time is peaking," he added.
Arnold Dix also offered prayers at the temple that has been set up by various agencies at the mouth of the tunnel.
Dix specialises in underground and transportation infrastructure -- from construction risk to more technical issues associated with the actual safety performance from an operational safety perspective. He also provides advice on risks associated with underground construction and is widely recognised as the world's leading expert on underground tunnelling.