UTV

41 workers rescued after weeks trapped in Indian tunnel

All 41 construction workers who were trapped in a collapsed mountain tunnel for 17 days in northern India have been brought to safety, hours after rescue crew drilled through the debris of rock, concrete and mud to reach them, Al Jazeera reported. 

Following days of multiple rescue attempts that hit obstacles just metres from reaching the men, they were eventually pulled out on Tuesday on wheeled stretchers through a 90-centimetre (3-foot) wide steel pipe, in the Himalayan state of Uttarakhand.

The final phase of the intricate operation was completed in about an hour.

The labourers, low-wage workers from some of India’s poorest states, had been stuck in the 4.5km (three-mile) tunnel being built in Uttarakhand since it caved in early on November 12. The intricate and painstaking efforts to get them out had been closely watched across the country for days.

Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami, the state’s top elected official, met some of the workers before they were taken to hospital, presenting them with traditional marigold garlands. Ambulances and helicopters were on standby at the entrance of the tunnel.

Officials at the site, where sweets were being distributed and fire crackers were set off in celebration, said the workers appeared to be in good health.

MNA/PR

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