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41 workers rescued from a collapsed tunnel in India after 17 days

Nov 28, 2023

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More than six hours after breaking through rock and debris, rescuers initiated the evacuation of 41 construction workers trapped for 17 days in a collapsed 3-mile tunnel in the Uttarakhand state of India. Ambulances, with lights flashing, awaited at the tunnel’s mouth to transport the laborers approximately 20 miles to the nearest hospital.

Despite receiving essential supplies through a pipe, previous attempts to dig a rescue tunnel using high-powered drilling machines faced numerous setbacks. The workers had been trapped in the tunnel since its collapse on Nov. 12, following a landslide.

The evacuation involved pulling each worker, one at a time, on wheeled stretchers through a narrow pipe. The trapped workers, who endured repeated setbacks in the rescue operation, had plenty of space in the tunnel and received food, water and other necessities.

“I am feeling very excited that after so many days of waiting my brother is about to come out …whatever (joy) I am feeling now, after they actually get out, it will be something else altogether,” said Devender Kishku, a relative of trapped tunnel worker.

Minister of Road Transport and Highways, Nitin Gadkari, expressed relief and happiness on X, formerly twitter, after the successful rescue of all workers from the Silkyara Tunnel in Uttarkashi.

“I am very happy that all the 41 trapped workers have come out and their lives have been saved,” Gadkari said in the video.

He commended the well-coordinated effort by multiple agencies, highlighting it as one of the most significant recent rescue operations.

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