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For trapped Uttarkashi workers, light at end of tunnel, rescued after 17 days

Uttarkashi, Nov 28, 2023: In a huge breakthrough, rescue teams on Tuesday evening safely pulled out the 41 workers who had been trapped inside the Silkyara tunnel for 17 days. During the evacuation phase, all the workers were successfully pulled out from the tunnel in less than an hour.



Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Dhami greeted the rescued workers as they emerged out of the tunnel. Earlier, it was estimated that the evacuation of one person would take 3-4 minutes.

In a post on X, the Chief Minister said that the work of evacuating the workers was onoing. "Initial health checkup of all the workers is being done in the temporary medical camp built in the tunnel," he stated.

To celebrate the safe evacuation of the workers, locals distributed sweets outside Silkyara tunnel, as per a report by news agency ANI. One of the relatives of the workers reacted to the success of the operation, saying that he was "feeling very good".

A portion of the tunnel collapsed on November 12, blocking the exit of 41 workers inside.


1. All of the 41 workers who had been trapped inside the collapsed Silkyara tunnel were successfully rescued on Tuesday evening. The workers were greeted by their family members upon coming out. Locals in Uttarkashi also distributed sweets to celebrate the safe return of the workers.

2. After being rescued, the workers were taken to a hospital for medical checkups in ambulances that had been parked outside the tunnel.

3. Chief Minister Pushkar Dhami welcomed the workers with garlands and posed with them for a picture to celebrate the success of the rescue operation.

4. In a message to the rescued workers, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that their "courage and patience" was inspiring. In a post on X, he wrote, "I want to say to the friends who were trapped in the tunnel that your courage and patience is inspiring everyone. I wish you all well and good health. It is a matter of great satisfaction that, after a long wait, our friends will now meet their loved ones."

He further wrote, "The patience and courage that all these families have shown in this challenging time cannot be appreciated enough. I also salute the spirit of all the people associated with this rescue operation. Everyone involved in this mission has set an amazing example of humanity and teamwork."

5. Reacting to the development, Uttarakhand Legislative Assembly Speaker Ritu Khanduri on Tuesday said that she was grateful to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami for working hard to bring back the workers from the tunnel.

Senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh also reacted to the success of the rescue mission, saying, "After a harrowing 17 days the 41 workers trapped in the Silkyara tunnel in Uttarakhand are being evacuated. The entire country salutes the remarkable resilience and fortitude of the workers themselves."

6. Union Minister Nitin Gadkari also expressed relief over the rescue of the 41 workers. In a post on X, he wrote, "I am completely relieved and happy as 41 trapped laborers in the Silkyara Tunnel Collapse have been successfully rescued." He further credited various agencies involved for their "well-coordinated effort" and said that this was one of the most significant rescue operations in recent years.

7. Relatives of the workers, who had been anxiously awaiting the workers’ arrival for days now, rejoiced as the workers safely emerged from the tunnel after 17 days.

8. In a press conference, Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami said that the state government will provide financial assistance of Rs 1 lakh to all the workers trapped in the Silkyara tunnel and all arrangements will be made for their medical treatment. He further said that a temple dedicated to Baba Bhoknaag would be built in the tunnel, adding that it was his blessings that made the rescue operations successful despite all the obstacles.

9. On November 12, a part of an under-construction tunnel from Silkyara to Barkot collapsed due to debris falling in a 60-metre stretch on the Silkyara side. Forty-one workers were trapped inside after this incident. Soon after the tunnel collapse on November 12, the rescue operation began, with rescuers, experts, government officials and media persons rushing to the site. 

Courtesy: India Today

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