Trapped in the tunnel for 17 days, 41 Indian workers were rescued. Photo/ABC.net
“I am truly relieved and happy that the 41 workers trapped in the Silkyara Tunnel have been rescued,” India's Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari said in a statement.
“This was a well-coordinated multi-agency effort and represented one of the most significant rescue operations in recent years,” he added, as quoted by Channel News AsiaTuesday (November 28th, 2023).
Photos released by the Indian government showed the rescued workers being presented with celebratory orange marigold bouquets as they were greeted by state officials as a line of ambulances waited for them.
Crowds cheered as emergency vehicles with flashing lights prepared to leave the tunnel entrance where workers have been trapped since part of a tunnel under construction collapsed on November 12 in the Himalayan state of Uttarakhand.
“Preliminary health checks of all workers are being carried out at a makeshift medical camp in the tunnel,” said Pushkar Singh Dhami, chief minister of Uttarakhand state.
Dhami praised the prayers of tens of millions of Indian citizens and the tireless work of all rescue teams involved in the rescue operations.
“The health of the workers is good, but the medical team from the field hospital was immediately on site when they were picked up,” he added.
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