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Uttarkashi Tunnel Rescue: All 41 Trapped Workers Successfully Rescued After 17 Days Agony

The drilling work faced a temporary halt at 47 meters due to an auger machine getting stuck in debris.

Edited By : Saurav Gupta | Updated: Nov 28, 2023 21:18 IST
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Uttarkashi Tunnel Rescue
Uttarkashi Tunnel Rescue

Uttarkashi Tunnel Rescue: In a 17-day-long operation that held the nation’s attention, the Silkyara tunnel rescue mission in Uttarakhand culminated in the safe evacuation of 41 trapped workers. The daunting endeavor, executed by rat-hole miners, finally brought relief and jubilation on a previously tense site.

Union Minister Nitin Gadkari expressed his joy at the successful rescue of the 41 trapped workers in the Silkyara tunnel. Commending the tireless efforts of agencies led by the PMO, he extended his best wishes to the rescued workers and gratitude to all involved. Additionally, he announced plans for a safety audit of the tunnel.

The workers underwent a gradual extraction process to readjust to the surface climate, set at approximately 14 degrees Celsius. Specially adapted stretchers were employed, lowered manually through a two-meter-wide pipe drilled into the hillside.

Preceded by NDRF personnel, the workers navigated rescue protocols through the pipe. Each individual was secured to a stretcher, manually drawn up 60 meters through rock and debris.

At the rescue site, an ambulance was seen departing, with 41 ambulances designated – one for each worker. They will access a ‘green corridor’ to swiftly reach emergency medical facilities situated approximately 30 km away in Chinyalisaur.



Read More: Arnold Dix: The Mastermind Behind Uttarkashi Tunnel Rescue

Post-rescue, immediate medical attention was accorded to the workers. They were swiftly shifted to a nearby hospital, prioritizing their health needs after enduring the traumatic confinement.

Facilitating the movement of the rescued workers, a “green corridor” was established, allowing ambulances to expedite their journey to emergency medical facilities in Chinyalisaur. This expedited passage highlighted the urgency and priority accorded to their medical treatment.

Harpal Singh, the project head of the Zoji-la tunnel, detailed the breakthrough, marking the momentous occasion. The tunnel, once a constraining trap, now stood as a liberating pathway, symbolizing hope and liberation for the trapped workers.

The remarkable efforts of the rat-hole miners did not go unnoticed. Their remarkable feat of digging through ten meters of debris in under 24 hours earned high praise from senior officials. Their dedication and tireless work contributed immensely to the successful rescue, transforming what was a formidable blockage into an accessible passage.

Balinder Yadav, a worker involved in the rescue operation, shared his firsthand experience, describing the transformation from an impassable tunnel to an open road, signifying the incredible progress achieved through unwavering perseverance and teamwork.

The conclusion of this rescue operation marked not just the liberation of the workers but also stood as a testament to human resilience and collective determination in the face of adversity.

Here’s everything you need to know about the Uttarkashi rescue operation:

November 12 – Tunnel collapse, trapping workers.

November 13 – 14 meters of debris added to the collapse.

November 14 – Auger machine drilling commenced.

November 15 – Arrival of American auger machine.

November 16 – Drilling reaches 8-9 meters depth.

November 17 – Rock obstruction halts drilling at 21-22 meters.

November 18 – Initiation of 5 parallel drilling plans.

November 19 – NDRF, SDRF, BRO take charge.

November 20 – Arrival of international tunneling experts, vertical drilling starts.

November 21 – Endoscopy camera sent in, first video of trapped workers recorded.

November 22 – Auger machine obstructed by rebar, drilling halted.

November 23 – Drilling halted due to cracks in the platform.

November 24 – Rescue team nears workers’ location.

November 25 – US auger machine blade breaks, operation paused.

November 26 – Vertical drilling recommences.

November 27 – Water emerges, manual vertical drilling starts, steel capsule prepared.

November 28 – Rescue agencies reach workers, successfully evacuate and transport them to the hospital.

First published on: Nov 28, 2023 07:58 PM IST

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