Uttarkashi tunnel collapse: Tragedy strikes as tunnel worker's father dies hours before rescue

On November 12, the Uttarkashi tunnel collapsed trapping 41 workers inside until they were rescued on Tuesday, November 29. 

Harshali Kemprai
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Courtesy: ANI

A tragic story has emerged following the rescue of workers trapped in a collapsed tunnel in Uttarakhand. 70-year-old Jharkhand resident Baset Murmu died on Tuesday morning, just hours before his 28-year-old son Bhaktu was rescued from the wreckage.


A father's desperate hope for son's rescue 


According to family members, Murmu had been anxious and worried for his son's safety since the tunnel collapsed on November 12, trapping Bhaktu and over 40 other workers inside. On Tuesday morning, while sitting on his cot, Murmu allegedly suffered cardiac arrest brought on by the extreme stress.

Local authorities have yet to confirm the official cause of death, though a heart attack is suspected. Since the news, Murmu's wife Piti has been grief-stricken, refusing to speak and staring blankly in shock.

The family recounted how Murmu was desperately awaiting word of his son's condition and any progress in the rescue efforts. Tragically, he passed away around 12 hours before Bhaktu finally emerged from the tunnel to safety on Tuesday night.


Recovering tunnel workers 


Bhaktu is currently recovering along with 14 other workers from Jharkhand at AIIMS Rishikesh. Once medically cleared, the state government plans to airlift the group to Ranchi.

The successful rescue operation concluded Tuesday night, November 29, after a portion of the under-construction tunnel collapsed on November 12, trapping the workers. The group survived thanks to food, medicine and supplies sent through a small pipe pushed through the debris.

While the safe return of the workers is a relief, Murmu's death underscores the immense stress placed on the families of those trapped in the tunnel. The tragic loss is felt deeply by the community waiting desperately for their loved ones' rescue.