Shillong, November 29: The 17-day ordeal for the 41 laborers trapped in the Silkyara tunnel in Uttarkashi came to an end on Tuesday as rescue workers safely extracted all of them. After receiving initial medical attention, the rescued workers are expected to be transported to AIIMS Rishikesh today.
As per India Today, the Silkyara tunnel, a crucial component of the Centre’s ambitious Char Dham project, collapsed on November 12 due to a landslide. Rat-hole mining experts successfully cleared the final stretch of rubble around 7 pm.
A combined effort of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and State Disaster Response Force, Assam (SDRF), involved entering the steel chute to reach the trapped workers and bringing them out individually on wheeled stretchers.
On Wednesday, the Indian Air Force’s Chinook helicopter is scheduled to airlift all 41 rescued workers to AIIMS in Rishikesh. Sources told India Today that doctors and specialists at AIIMS will conduct examinations to assess any trauma or infections the workers may have experienced during the 17 days they were trapped beneath the collapsed tunnel.
Chief Minister Dhami met and interacted with ITBP personnel involved in the rescue operation at the Uttarkashi Silkyara tunnel on Wednesday. As the rescue operation reached its breakthrough point on Tuesday, the trapped workers emerged from the Uttarkashi tunnel, displaying a mix of smiling faces and expressions of gratitude and exhaustion.
Outside the tunnel, loud cheers and slogans resonated as people welcomed the ambulances transporting the workers to community health centers, with locals distributing sweets. Meanwhile, emotional reunions took place between anxious relatives, who had been camping in the area, and the workers, bringing an end to days of uncertainty.