After 17 days 41 workers were rescued from collapsed Indian tunnel

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After 17 days 41 workers were rescued from collapsed Indian tunnel. On Tuesday, following a successful extraction of 41 workers from a collapsed tunnel beneath the Himalayas—the culmination of a seventeen-day rescue operation to bore through rock and debris—applause erupted.

Before the rescued men eventually emerged, it took weeks to excavate an escape route for the workers through the mountain, with the final two meters being drilled by hand.

Pushkar Singh Dhami, the chief minister of Uttarakhand, was captured on video footage of the incident addressing the workers as they emerged from the tunnel amidst scenes of jubilation. The workers appeared to be in excellent health.

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In a statement on X, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi stated that the effective rescue “is moving everyone to tears.”

He wrote, “I wish to convey to the men confined within the tunnel that their courage and perseverance are serving as an inspiration to all.”

“I also applaud the collective spirit of everyone involved in this rescue operation.” Their courage and resolve have bestowed a fresh start on our laboring comrades. “Everyone who contributed to this mission has demonstrated remarkable humanity and cooperation,” Modi stated.

Since November 12, when a section of the tunnel they were assisting in the construction of in the northern Indian state of Uttarakhand collapsed, obstructing their only means of escape with over 60 meters (200 feet) of shattered rock, concrete, and contorted metal, the men had been ensnared.

A sequence of distressing setbacks resulted in the removal of the initial personnel; rescue operations were disrupted when the heavy machinery employed to penetrate the residue malfunctioned, compelling personnel to rely on riskier alternatives and partially dig by hand to evacuate the individuals to safety.

Engineers had previously employed heavy machinery to excavate the debris in the exit tunnel. However, they were compelled to abandon their endeavors by late Friday evening due to malfunctioning a robust drill manufactured in the United States, mere meters away from the ensnared men.

To reach the men who were trapped, rescuers were concurrently drilling downward through the precarious mountain topography as a backup plan. Nonetheless, the initial strategy ultimately proved fruitful.

Once the drilling was finished, rescuers inserted a sizable conduit through the final segment of the exit shaft to extract the men.

Authorities report that the laborers, all migrant workers from some of the poorest states in India, are in excellent health despite receiving food, water, and oxygen through a 53-meter (173-foot) pipe inserted through the debris.

On-site physicians have maintained consistent communication with the male individuals, guiding them in maintaining a positive attitude and composure. Daily, their families have gathered at the tunnel exit to offer prayers for their safe return.

A controversial multimillion-dollar endeavor led by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Char Dham Highway tunnel is a component of this route. Its purpose is to improve connectivity to significant Hindu pilgrimage sites in the region and enhance the nation’s transportation infrastructure.