Dehradun: In a triumphant turn of events, the Uttarakhand government has announced the successful rescue of all 41 workers who were trapped in the Uttarkashi tunnel for the past 17 days. The rescue operation, spanning over nearly three weeks, culminated on the 28th of November, bringing relief to the families and communities anxiously awaiting the safe return of their loved ones.
Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami, along with Union Minister VK Singh, personally greeted the rescued workers at the site of their emergence. The joyous occasion was marked by the workers being adorned with flower garlands and welcomed with resounding applause, capturing the collective relief and celebration of their safe return.
सिलक्यारा टनल में चल रहे रेस्क्यू ऑपरेशन में बड़ी सफलता मिली है, पाइप पुशिंग का कार्य मलबे के आर-पार हो चुका है। अब श्रमिकों को सुरक्षित बाहर निकालने की तैयारी शुरू कर दी गई है। pic.twitter.com/wCMZrWSRSn— Pushkar Singh Dhami (@pushkardhami) November 28, 2023
Images captured by the news agency ANI depict the workers emerging from ambulances, symbolizing the end of a challenging ordeal. The laborers are set to be transported directly to the Chinyalisaur health center via ambulance, where they will receive medical attention under the careful supervision of doctors.
#UPDATE | Five workers among the 41 workers trapped inside the Silkyara tunnel in Uttarakhand since November 12 have been successfully rescued.— ANI (@ANI) November 28, 2023
Currently, all the labourers are in the safety tunnel inside the Silkyara tunnel.
The incident unfolded on the day of Diwali, with a part of the tunnel collapsing and trapping 41 workers behind a formidable 60-meter-long wall of debris. The subsequent 17 days saw a coordinated rescue effort involving national and international experts.
A timeline of the rescue operation reveals the persistent and collaborative efforts to free the trapped workers:
12 November: Tunnel collapse, trapping 41 workers.
13 November: Contact established, oxygen supplied through a pipe.
14 November: Attempts made to insert steel pipe; workers injured.
15 November: New auger machine requested and airlifted from Delhi.
16 November: New drilling machine initiated.
17 November: Hindrance in drilling; another auger machine called.
18 November: PMO officials and experts ordered a new plan.
19 November: Drilling paused; Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari assesses operations.
20 November: PM Modi speaks with CM Dhami to review rescue efforts.
21 November: Video of trapped workers surfaces.
22 November: 800 mm thick steel pipe reaches 45 meters; hindrance in drilling.
23 November: Drilling halted due to cracks.
24 November: Drilling resumes but is later stopped.
25 November: Manual drilling commences.
26 November: Vertical drilling initiated above the Silkyara-Barkot tunnel.
27 November: Vertical digging continues.
Finally, on the afternoon of 28 November, the rescue team reached the trapped workers, successfully completing the task of laying pipes in the tunnel and initiating the evacuation process.