Light at the end of the tunnel! Labourers successfully rescued after being trapped for 17 days in northern India
The operation to rescue 41 workers trapped inside the Silkyara-Barkot under-construction tunnel in northern India’s Uttarakhand was finally completed, with ambulances also arriving at the spot to provide medical support to those saved.
This under-construction tunnel collapsed in Uttarkashi, trapping the workers on November 12, and the rescue was completed on November 28.
Visuals showed the number of ambulances parked inside the tunnel. Doctors, along with their required equipment, were also present at the spot.
In another visual, the Chief Minister of the state was seen shaking hands and patting the backs of the rescued workers. A large crowd had gathered to witness the historic rescue.
According to a report, the rescue operations involved ‘rat-hole miners’ who manually drilled for over 21 hours to help this rescue operation achieve success. They dug through the debris after the initial vertical drilling process saw the large auger machine get stuck in the rubble. Hence, horizontal drilling as an alternative method was used. Officials of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) reached out to these workers and pulled them out.
More than 30 ambulances arrived at the spot, which would then rush these rescued workers for medical treatment. The families of these rescued workers also arrived at the spot. The rescued workers would be taken to the Chinyalisaur Community Health Centre (CHC), where 41 beds have been prepared for their treatment. Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami also arrived at the spot of the rescue operation.
All 41 labourers have been successfully rescued. The workers are being taken to the temporary hospital set up inside the tunnel for a medical check-up and acclimatization. Everyone was immediately sent to CHC Hospital Chinyalisaur.
“We do not know when they will reach here, most likely not at night. The immediate care they need will be provided at the temporary facility set up at the tunnel. However, they will be brought here for further treatment,” said Dr. Meenu Singh, Director, AIIMS-Rishikesh.
“We will know more when we see them, but we are prepared for everything,” she said, adding that the workers will be kept under observation for at least 48 hours at the hospital to check for post-traumatic stress and provide support. “They are likely to feel better once they meet their families,” Dr. Singh added.”