Rescued worker's ‘thumbs up’ after coming out of Uttarkashi tunnel. Watch
Uttarkashi tunnel collapse: All 41 workers were rescued successfully on Tuesday evening after over 400 hours.
After over 400 hours of being trapped inside the Silkyara tunnel in Uttarakhand’s Uttarkashi, all 41 workers were safely rescued on Tuesday evening. The workers' families and the entire country rejoiced as the labourers started coming out of the tunnel, putting an end to the 17-day-long rescue operation which grabbed the attention of the world.
In a video shared by the news agency ANI, a rescued worker can be seen ecstatic and gave a “thumbs up” to the authorities as soon as he was pulled out of the tunnel.
The rescue operation was expected to be straightforward and last only a few days, but a series of technical setbacks led to its delay. During the final stretch, about a dozen rescuers took turns digging through rocks and debris overnight Monday into Tuesday using hand-held drilling tools. The officials only turned to rat-hole mining when more modern equipment collapsed.
A day after the successful rescue operation, rescued workers recounted their experience. One of the workers identified as Subodh Kumar Verma said that the first 24 hours were difficult. Another worker said they understood that their way to get out of the tunnel was blocked. “We had some difficulties for the first 10-12 hours, but then we were supplied food through the water pipe. Then after 10 days, another pipe came only for food. We got all food rice, dal, roti, dry fruits,” he said.
Meanwhile, officials said that all the workers are in “good health”.
PM Modi speaks to rescued workers
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday spoke to the rescued workers on call. Congratulating them for their battle, PM Modi said 17 days are “not a brief period” and it was commendable that the workers did not lose hope.
"We have the blessings of Kedarnath, Badrinath. Had something untoward happened, I can't describe how we could have taken that. You all have shown exemplary bravery…You had each other's back throughout the crisis. At times like this, it is not rare to get into a little tu tu-main main. This happens even in a railway compartment. But you all have remained united," PM Modi said.
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