'If national agencies hadn't cooperated…': Arnold Dix's ‘perfect’ remark on Uttarkashi tunnel rescue
All 41 workers, who were trapped inside Uttarakhand's Silkyari tunnel since November 12, were evacuated safely on Tuesday evening.
Arnold Dix, president of the International Tunnelling and Underground Space Association who had been advising the engineers for the rescue of 41 workers trapped inside the collapsed Silkyari tunnel in Uttarakhand's Uttarkashi, said he is feeling very relaxed and happy.
Speaking to reporters at the Delhi airport, Dix said, “...I feel content. I am not in a rush to go anywhere, I am just feeling very relaxed and happy. I just travelled with the men who were rescued and I am delighted...”
The Australian tunnelling expert also said if national agencies hadn't cooperated the way they did, “there's no way we would have got this outcome”.
“We were all one big team. 41 men, home safe, no one hurt, perfect,” he said.
All 41 workers, who were trapped inside Silkyari tunnel since November 12, were evacuated safely on Tuesday evening.
On November 12, a section of the tunnel between 205 and 260 metres from the Silkyara side collapsed. Workers, who were beyond the 260-metre mark, were trapped, with their exit blocked.
Australian high commissioner to India, Philip Green, expressed happiness over the involvement of Dix in the Uttarkashi tunnel rescue operation and said that “it's a matter of great pride”.
"We are very proud of the fact that one of the people who was involved in this was our Professor Dix, an Australian from the University in Brisbane--someone who has huge expertise in issues related to tunnelling and it's a matter of great pride to us that it's one of our national who has made this very big impact on this important event for India," he said.
He added, "The natural human reaction is to be relieved and delighted for these 41 workers and for all of their friends and other loved ones. We were all imagining how terrible it must have been in this appalling situation and their families wondering what their fates would be and how joyful we all feel and relieved that they are safe and sound and back in the arms of their loved ones."
Highlighting that Dix decided to come to India for the operation without any help from the Australian government, the Australian envoy to India expressed delight that Dix had stood with India in tough times of crisis.
“To be honest, he chose to come to India of his own account. The Australian government wasn't involved in that. But we are delighted that an Australian stood forward at this time of crisis and that has been such a success. So, all credit to him,” he said.
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