Tuesday March 05, 2024

Uttarakhand Tunnel Rescue: Trapped construction workers finally dug out to safety after 17 days

Authorities in Uttarakhand expressed optimism that all of the workers will be saved within the next two to three hours

By Web Desk
November 28, 2023

All 41 construction workers who had been trapped in the collapsed tunnel for 17 days in northern India have been rescued after forcing their way through the rubble of mud, rock, and concrete, as per a report by NDTV.

Authorities in Uttarakhand, a state in the Himalayas, expressed optimism that all of the workers will be saved within the next two to three hours.

A 90-cm (3-foot) diameter pipe that has been put into the debris of the collapsed tunnel in the state of Uttarakhand extracted them one at a time.

Rescuers were able to reach the group around 19:05 local time (13:35 GMT), according to a tunnelling expert.

It is believed that none of the men sustained any injuries.

The need to cut through metal rods has complicated the rescue, while hard rock and loose dirt have further hindered the process.

Authorities have been using a different, small pipe to provide the guys with food, drink, and air.

The news of the first guy emerging from the tunnel has sparked celebrations outside of it.

After a series of excruciating setbacks, the first workers were evacuated. Rescue operations were interrupted when the heavy gear that was being used to drill through the rubble malfunctioned, forcing personnel to partially excavate by hand and utilise other hazardous techniques to get them to safety.

The strong US-made drill that the engineers were trying to remove the rubble in the exit shaft broke down a few metres from the trapped guys, forcing them to cease their attempts late on Friday. Previously, they had attempted to do so using heavy gear.

In addition, rescuers were concurrently digging their way down through the precarious mountain terrain as a backup route for the soldiers who were stranded. However, the original strategy worked out in the end.

After the drilling was finished, rescuers forced a large pipe through the final section of the exit shaft to free the prisoners.

A 53-meter (173-foot) conduit that has been threaded through the rubble has been providing food, drink, and oxygen to the labourers, all of whom are migrant workers from some of the poorest regions in India. According to officials, the workers are still in good condition.

The guys inside have maintained frequent touch with the on-site doctors, who have provided them with advice on how to stay composed and optimistic. Every day, their relatives have gathered outside the tunnel's exit to offer prayers for their safe return.

The tunnel is a component of the contentious multimillion-dollar Char Dham Highway route, which Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi designed to modernise the nation's transport system and provide access to significant Hindu pilgrimage sites nearby.