Workers rescued from collapsed tunnel to be flown to AIIMS Rishikesh
Chief medical officer (Uttarkashi) RCS Panwar said the workers, who were kept under observation at a community health centre, were in good physical and mental health
The 41 workers, who were rescued from the collapsed road tunnel in Uttarakhand’s Uttarkashi on Tuesday after 17 days, were expected to be airlifted to Rishikesh’s All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) even as they were in good health and under observation at a community health centre, said doctors.
Chief medical officer (Uttarkashi) RCS Panwar said the workers were in good physical and mental health. “We have kept all workers under observation since they were rescued from the tunnel. No one has reported any ailments.” He added they will be flown to AIIMS in Rishikesh.
The trapped workers were rescued after 422 hours with the first worker coming out at around 7:45pm on Tuesday. All the workers were taken to the health centre one by one.
Twelve “rat-hole miners” burrowed through a wall of rock, mud and debris with hand-held tools in the final breakthrough on Tuesday. Disaster relief personnel pulled out the workers hours later. The workers were wheeled out through a 57-metre-long steel chute inserted into the cavernous tunnel between Silkyara and Barkot.
Relatives of the trapped workers hugged their loved ones as they were wheeled out. Hopes of a rescue were repeatedly dashed due to the fresh collapse of debris and machine breakdown.
Engineers working to drive a metal pipe horizontally through 57 metres (187 feet) of rock and concrete ran into metal girders and construction vehicles buried in the rubble, snapping a giant earth-boring auger machine last week. Rescuers established video contact through an endoscopic camera and sent in food and fruits through a second six-inch pipe inserted into the debris even as barrelling into the collapsed tunnel ran into fresh difficulties.
A group of rat-hole miners sent in on November 27 made possible the final breakthrough. It squeezed into a metal pipe and cut through the rock face by hand.
Get Updates on India News, Farmers Protest Live alongwith the Latest News and Top Headlines from India and around the the world.