A tunnel construction site in the Himalayas in northern India on the night of the 28th. When a man wearing a yellow hard hat revealed his face from a narrow steel pipe about 90cm in diameter, rescuers and his family cheered, “Bharat Mataki Jai (Long live Mother India)!” It was the moment when workers, who had been isolated when the ceiling collapsed during highway tunnel construction work, came out for the first time in 17 days. All 41 workers trapped in the tunnel, including this man, were all rescued safely within an hour.
According to the Associated Press, the ceiling of the tunnel collapsed due to a landslide at the Silkyarya tunnel construction site in Uttarakhand, northern India, on the 12th. Workers who were working about 200 meters away from the tunnel entrance were trapped. It was only 10 days after the accident that their survival was confirmed. On the 21st, the rescue team made a hole elsewhere near the entrance and succeeded in inserting a medical endoscope camera through a 60-meter-thick pile of rubble. Fortunately, all the workers survived. The rescue team penetrated the pipe through this route to reach the isolated point of the workers and supplied them with oxygen, water, food, and medicine. Twelve doctors waited outside the tunnel and checked the workers’ condition.
The rescue team’s next operation was to push a steel pipe about 90 cm in diameter into the 60 m thick rubble. The plan was to have workers put the body into this coffin and come out. For this purpose, a large drill was used, but the drill broke down several times due to the metal and stones in the rubble. With only a few meters left where the workers were, we could not proceed any further. Eventually, starting on the 24th, about 20 rescue workers joined in and created a hole by digging through the rubble by hand, and on the afternoon of the 28th, an iron pipe arrived for the workers. The rescue team loaded the workers one by one on wheeled stretchers and carried them out.
“The trapped rescuers were very happy when they found us in the tunnel,” one rescuer told the Indian Broadcasting Corporation. “Some people ran up to me and hugged me,” he said. The 41 workers were immediately transported to a nearby hospital. His health was reported to be good. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in a statement on this day, “I salute everyone who participated in the rescue operation. “Their courage and determination gave new life to our working brothers.”
Mark Jones is a world traveler and journalist for News Rebeat. With a curious mind and a love of adventure, Mark brings a unique perspective to the latest global events and provides in-depth and thought-provoking coverage of the world at large.