41 workers trapped in collapsed tunnel in India, dramatically rescued after 17 days

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi: “Those who participated in the rescue showed amazing humanity.”
When the machine used for digging broke down, we had to dig up the ground by hand.

41 workers trapped in a tunnel that collapsed during construction in northern India were dramatically rescued after 17 days.

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According to the U.S. Associated Press on the 28th (local time), 41 workers who were stranded after the tunnel collapsed during construction of the Sikiara Tunnel passing through the Himalayas in Uttarakhand, India, were all rescued through vertical excavation. Family members and government officials at the rescue site cheered as the workers walked out with the rescue team.

Nitin Gadkari, India’s Minister of Road Transport and Highways, said in a post on “It was one,” he said.

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The tunnel collapsed about 200 meters away from the entrance due to a landslide on the morning of the 12th. As a result, 41 workers working inside the tunnel were trapped, but no one was seriously injured or died.

Isolated workers received food and oxygen through pipes. While the rescue operation was in progress, more than 12 doctors, including psychiatrists, also guarded the site and monitored their health.

Rescue authorities said, “All 41 workers survived this ordeal safely.” The workers were examined at a temporary medical camp set up at the tunnel entrance and then transported to the hospital.

“Twelve rescue workers took turns using drills to dig through rocks and debris throughout the night,” government spokeswoman Kirti Panwar said. When the machine used for excavation work broke down on the 24th, rescue workers dug the ground by hand. The machine drilled 47 meters out of the approximately 60 meters needed to reach the stranded workers.

Afterwards, the workers were placed on wheeled stretchers and rescued one by one through a pipe about 1 meter wide. “The workers trapped in the tunnel were very happy when they found us,” said Devender, a rescue worker who gave only his first name, in an interview with local media. “Some of them ran to me and hugged me.”

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to some of the rescued workers over the phone and asked about their well-being. Prime Minister Modi said through local media, “Their courage and perseverance are an example to everyone,” and “Everyone involved in this rescue operation showed incredible humanity and teamwork.”

The Sikiara Tunnel, which collapsed during construction, was designed as a major route connecting several Hindu pilgrimage sites. The tunnel is 4,500 meters long and is part of a plan to build an 890-kilometer-long highway running from north to south through the northern state of Uttarakhand.

Source: Donga

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