Efforts continue in India’s north to free 41 construction workers trapped in a three-mile highway tunnel in the Indian Himalayas since 12 November. The tunnel, located in the northern state of Uttarakhand, collapsed, leaving the men disconnected from the outside world.

The authorities confirm that the trapped individuals are safe, equipped with essential provisions such as light, oxygen, food, water, and medicines.

The cause of the cave-in remains undisclosed.

The rescue teams struggle with drilling through debris in the mountainous terrain. The landscape has unpredictable weather conditions.

The images captured of the trapped men communicating with rescue workers depict the circumstances they find themselves in. The images feature a semi-circle of men, all donned in helmets and construction worker jackets.

Authorities have released a brief 30-second video featuring the ordeal of the trapped men. The video was shot through a medical endoscopy camera, pushed through a second, a pipeline of 15cm (6in) in diameter drilled through the debris on Monday.

The video reveals the men in good condition. One rescue worker, under the tunnel lights, instructs the rest to present themselves one by one before the camera.

Psychiatrist Abhishek Sharma, dispatched by the state government, has advised the trapped men on strategies to maintain their mental health in the confined space. His recommendations include walking within the 1.2-mile confined area, engaging in light yoga, and participating in regular conversations to alleviate the mental strain of their predicament.

Sharma highlighted the importance of sleep for their overall well-being. Reports indicate that the men have been able to maintain regular sleep patterns without difficulties.

Dr Prem Pokhriyal, part of the overseeing medical team, warns against heavy workouts that could lead to an increased accumulation of carbon dioxide in the confined space.

The trapped men, identified as low-wage workers predominantly from economically disadvantaged states in India’s north and east, represent a section of society often overlooked in such crises. Their plight sheds light on the vulnerabilities faced by those in economically precarious situations during natural disasters.