41 trapped workers rescued from Silkyara tunnel in Uttarkashi after 17 days
Dehradun, Nov 28
In a gruelling successful operation all the 41 workers trapped in an under construction road tunnel on the Yamountri highway at Silkyara,50 kms from Uttarkashi were brought out after 17th day today. Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami and Union Minister V.K. Singh welcomed the trapped workers bring in relief and happiness amongst large number of rescue workers, SDRF, NDRF personnel and workers of various agencies involved in the multi pronged rescue operations.
Interestingly, after multi setbacks and failure of heavy machinery which broke down 12 meters short of the target two days ago, it was banned manual “rat-hole”-mining technique which proved successful.
After 17 harrowing days and multiple setbacks in the rescue operation, the rescue operation was successful and workers were brought one-by-one out of the tunnel, answering the nation’s prayers.
The workers were brought out with the help of the banned manual “rat-hole”-mining technique employed after high-tech machines, or augers failed to drill through the nearly 60 metres of rock. Munna Qureshi, a rat miner from Delhi, was the first to reach to the trapped workers followed by other NDRF personnel who supervised the other successful evacuation of the trapped workers through the pipe.
A temporary hospital has been made inside the tunnel to acclimatise the workers to the outside weather. A portion of the under construction tunnel had caved in on November 12, trapping 41 labourers inside as the debris falling in the 60-metre stretch on the Silkyara side of the tunnel. It was a herculean task to bore through the 60 meter debris horizontally in the tunnel. The second option to drill a hole vertical above the trapped workers was also in progress when the Rat hole miners working with army personnel managed to remaining 12 meters of debris and place the pipe for the successful evacuation.