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Workers live on cardboard, paper and mud for nine days after being trapped in collapsed tunnel

They were trapped in a collapsed tunnel for nine days.

Nine days without proper food.

In the end, two workers in India lived on paper, cardboard and mud to survive.

A series of landslides had caused an under-construction tunnel in Bilaspur —​ a town in the Indian state of Himchal Pradesh— to cave in on September 12, leaving three workers stranded without supplies.

Authorities searched for the workers and it was only on Monday (Sept 21) rescue teams led Mr Satish Tomar, 21, and Mr Mani Ram, 41, out of the tunnel.

According to The Times of India, Mr Tomar and Mr Ram were unable to exit the tunnel after hearing "a thundering crash" as their only way out was blocked by debris.

Knowing that it could take up to a month for help to arrive, the two scavenged the tunnel for items that would help them survive.

Instincts kicked in immediately for Mr Tomar, who had survived a similar ordeal while working on an earlier construction project. He scanned his surroundings with the help of his mobile phone's light and came up with a list of essential survival items with Mr Ram.

"We collected water in a pipe by blocking its ends, but used it sparingly as we thought it could take up to a month to get rescued," said Mr Tomar.

"We also turned the air pipe supplying oxygen towards our sleeping area so that lack of oxygen did not impact our health."

For the next item on the list, the pair had to be resourceful. Mr Tomar said that he and Mr Ram consumed anything that looked edible, including pieces of paper, cardboard and soft soil.

The workers also constructed a torch made of gunny bags and diesel which they had taken from a construction machine.

The Indian Express reported that one more worker, Mr Hriday Ram, 51, is still trapped in the tunnel and that authorities rescue operations will only cease once he is rescued.

Sources: The Times of India, The Indian Express

 

Foreign WorkerIndiaUncategorisedfoodwaterairlandslide