All 41 workers pulled out of Uttarkashi tunnel safely

Dehradun: The 41 workers trapped inside the Silkyara tunnel in Uttarkashi were pulled out safely by rat-hole miners on late November 28 rescue operation which lasted for 17 days. Sources said three teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) went inside the tunnel to pull out the trapped workers.

A rescued worker said that all his colleagues were fit and in proper health. “Initial five to six days were difficult, but thereafter we received proper food. Our morale is very strong,” he said. Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami, who was present at the rescue site throughout, met the evacuated workers and inquired about their health.

Soon after their rescue, the workers were shifted to a neaby hospital for medical treatment. Ambulance used to shift the trapped workers were provided “green corridor” to reach emergency medical facilities set up in Chinyalisaur. According to Harpal Singh, the project head of Zoji-la tunnel, the exact time of the breakthrough was 7:05 pm. Senior officials said that rat-hole miners did a phenomenal job by digging 10 metres in less than 24 hours.

“I was inside when the pipe was being pushed. When I saw the (trapped) workers, I came back. Now, it’s like an open road and anyone can come and go,” Balinder Yadav, a worker involved in the rescue operation, said.

On November 12, a section of the tunnel collapsed in Uttarkashi, leading to debris falling within a 60-meter stretch on the Silkyara side of the tunnel, trapping 41 labourers inside the under-construction structure. Soon after the tunnel collapse, the rescue operation began, with rescuers, experts, and government officials rushing to the site.

Image courtesy of X/Twitter

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