How the tunnel was blasted

The work began at Ho19 (July) 1943 by drilling a series of holes (see diagram below) with pneumatic drills. Drill bits of length varying were used. These drill bits frequently became blunt and had to be replaced or resharpened. The power came from compressors situated at the entrance, operating 24hours a day, seven days a week. When the drilling of the holes was completed the three in the centre would have been exploded using nitroglycerin. The other 8 holes would then be packed with nitroglycerin and exploded. This then gave the rough out line of the tunnel. Both Electrical and fuse systems were employed for the detonation in the Jersey Tunnels and in Ho19 Electrical was used.


After the basic outline of the tunnel was made from blasting, the rest of the work was done mainly by hand. Long steel bars were used to knock down lose rubble from the roof and picks and shovels for the walls.
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