Life at end of tunnel: India moves mountain to rescue 41 on Day 17

  • | Wednesday | 29th November, 2023

Dehradun/Silkyara: The multi-agency operation to rescue 41 workers trapped inside the Silkyara tunnel in Uttarkashi for over a fortnight finally succeeded -- after days of ups and downs, waves of hope and despair -- on Tuesday evening when all of them were safely brought out. The massive effort, unprecedented in its magnitude and ambition, ended an ordeal that lasted 17 days and had the entire government machinery, including the PMO, putting its might behind the evacuation exercise.At 7.28 pm, when the first trapped worker, Vijay Horo, was wheeled out on a stretcher by NDRF personnel, emotions ran high and cheers broke out amongst the rescue personnel, who had quite literally moved mountains to get the men out.Earlier, at 7.12 pm, a team of doctors and NDRF men had first entered the tunnel as part of a pre-decided SOP. After the final leg of the mission, which lasted just over an hour, saw the harried but stoic workers walking out, they were welcomed with garlands by CM Pushkar Singh Dhami and Union minister of state for road transport and highways Gen VK Singh (retd).Anurag Jain, secretary, MoRTH, said, It was an unprecedented operation. Key factors working in our favor included access to electricity, water, and ample space for the trapped workers. Subsequently, when we established the supply line, the situation became more manageable.Talking about the challenges, he mentioned that a minor earthquake on November 16 caused the debris to shift 3 inches inside the tunnel. Furthermore, a loud cracking sound the following day panicked the workers, leading us to halt the work for three days.We also published the following articles recentlySilkyara tunnel rescue operation: Trapped, but they too helped in their own rescueRescuers continue operation to evacuate workers trapped in Silkyara tunnel; workers actively contribute to rescue efforts, assisting with oxygen pipes and safety points; workers demonstrate determination, discipline, and unity; workers maintain calm, cooperation, and composure; officials highlight workers foresight and grit; humor and camaraderie used to keep focus on task at hand.Operation to rescue 41 workers trapped in Silkyara tunnel may take long time: NDMAEfforts to rescue the 41 workers trapped in the Silkyara tunnel are facing prolonged challenges. The horizontal drilling using an auger machine has encountered setbacks, including the machine breaking. Now, rescuers are preparing for vertical drilling, expected to start in the next 24 to 36 hours. The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) emphasized the complexity and danger of the operation, which may take a long time. The Border Roads Organisation (BRO) has constructed an access road for vertical drilling.

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