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28/11/23 | 8:17 pm

Silkyara Tunnel Rescue: All 41 trapped workers evacuated after 17 days

The rescue operation faced continuous setbacks. Ultimately, when the drilling machine failed, 12 “rat-hole miners” stepped in and dug through the last 12 meters, reaching the trapped labourers. 

These rat hole miners worked with the Army to manually burrow through the remaining 10-12 meters of rubble separating the workers from freedom. 

Medical Attention and Transition

Upon their evacuation, each worker was warmly welcomed by Uttarakhand Chief Minister, Puskar Singh Dhami, adorned with shawls and garlands. They were then transported to Chinyalisaur Hospital via ambulance for medical care.

Helicopters on Standby

In case of necessity, helicopters were on standby to transport them to AIIMS in Rishikesh, where medical arrangements had been pre-planned. If required, after their primary medical evaluation, individuals would be airlifted to AIIMS early in the morning. AIIMS Rishikesh had reserved 41 beds for their immediate medical needs.

Workers' Health and Well-being

Despite their challenging 17-day ordeal in the tunnel, the workers appeared both joyous and in good health. Comprehensive arrangements were made for their mental and physical well-being following their rescrescue.o

Oversight by Key Authorities

Notably, both Chief Minister Puskar Singh Dhami and Central Minister General V.K. Singh were present during the rescue operations, overseeing the entire mission. The central government provided full support to the rescue campaign, ensuring the successful rescue of all 41 workers.

Coordinated Efforts of Govt Agencies

Throughout the rescue mission, various agencies of the central and state governments worked in coordination at a war footing. Continuous efforts were made to supply food, water, medication, and oxygen to the trapped workers, leaving no stone unturned to ensure their safe extraction.

The families of the rescued workers expressed gratitude for the combined efforts of the central and state governments.

PM Modi's Reaction

Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to X (earlier Twitter) to laud the success of the rescue operation and thanked the personnel involved in evacuating the trapped workers. 

“The success of the rescue operation of our labour brothers in Uttarkashi is making everyone emotional. I want to say to the friends who were trapped in the tunnel that your courage and patience are inspiring everyone. I wish you all well and good health. It is a matter of great satisfaction that after a long wait, these friends of ours will now meet their loved ones,” he said on his X handle.

“The patience and courage that all these families have shown in this challenging time cannot be appreciated enough. I also salute the spirit of all the people associated with this rescue operation. His bravery and determination have given new life to our labor brothers. Everyone involved in this mission has set an amazing example of humanity and teamwork”, his X post said further.

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