Silkyara tunnel rescue: Inside story

After 17 days of struggle and a serious marathon operation, the first worker was successfully evacuated out of a total of 41 workers. The evacuation of the rest of the workers trapped in the Silkyara tunnel is underway.

Later in an update, all 41 workers who got trapped in the Silkyara tunnel, UK, since November 12 have also been rescued. However, the CM of Uttarakhand, Pushkar Singh Dhami, personally met the workers who were successfully rescued. He met them along with Union Minister of State General VK Singh.

Some portions of the tunnel caved in on November 12. This led the debris to fall in the long 60-meter stretch on the Silkyara side. Further, 41 laborers working inside the tunnel got trapped inside the under-construction portion.

‘The proper timing of the rescue was 7.05 p.m. The politicians present during the rescue operation were Uttarakhand Chief Minister, Minister of State for Road Transport and Highways, along with Civil Aviation General VK Singh’, as per Harpal Singh.

After the rescue operation entered its final stage, Pushkar Singh Dhami, the Chief Minister of Uttarakhand, said that the pipe pushing inside the tunnel to bring out the 41 workers had been successfully done across the debris.

Also, as one worker working in the rescue operation said, ‘The situation is fine. Around 4–5 people have gone inside the tunnel from NDRF. The process of rescue has already started. We are also taking stretchers inside the tunnel to bring the trapped labour outside’.

Ambitious evacuation project

Villagers were also gathered outside the Silkyara tunnel. Some people were singing devotional songs, whereas others raised slogans in praise of Lord Ram on hearing about the successful evacuation project.

Other people also gathered on the slopes to catch a small glimpse of the total of 41 workers who were brought out of the tunnel. The trapped men have been getting food inside the tunnel via a lifeline pipe since last week. The cooked food items included lentils, vegetable curry, nuts, flatbreads, etc.

Also, a dozen doctors and psychiatrists have been available on the site. They have been talking to trapped workers via the pipe and are monitoring their overall health. The tunnel project was part of the Char Dham Highway, which cost around $1.5 billion. This is one of the ambitious projects of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

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