Cyprus Mail
AsiaWorld

All trapped workers rescued from Himalayan tunnel, say officials

one of trapped workers rescued from collapsed tunnel site in uttarkashi
One of the trapped workers is checked out after he was rescued from the collapsed tunnel site in Uttarkashi in the northern state of Uttarakhand, India

Indian rescuers on Tuesday pulled out all 41 construction workers trapped inside a collapsed tunnel in the Himalayas for 17 days, hours after drilling through the debris of rock, concrete and earth to reach them, officials said.

The evacuation of the men – low-wage workers from some of India’s poorest states – began more than six hours after rescuers broke through the debris in the tunnel in Uttarakhand state, which caved in on Nov. 12.

They were pulled out on wheeled stretchers through a 90 centimetre (3 feet) wide steel pipe, with the entire process being completed in about an hour.

The first to be evacuated, a short man wearing a dark grey winter jacket and a yellow hard-hat, was garlanded with marigold flowers and welcomed in traditional Indian style inside the tunnel by state chief minister Pushkar Singh Dhami and federal deputy highways minister V.K. Singh.

Ambulances with their lights flashing had earlier lined up at the mouth of the tunnel to transport the workers to a hospital about 30 km away.

Local residents gathered outside the tunnel set off firecrackers, distributed sweets and shouted slogans hailing Mother India.

The 41 men have been getting food, water, light, oxygen and medicines through a pipe but efforts to dig a tunnel to rescue them with high-powered drilling machines were frustrated by a series of snags.

The tunnel is part of the $1.5 billion Char Dham highway, one of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s most ambitious projects, aimed at connecting four Hindu pilgrimage sites through an 890- km network of roads.

Authorities have not said what caused the cave-in but the region is prone to landslides, earthquakes and floods.

Follow the Cyprus Mail on Google News

Related Posts

Hungary can soon ratify Sweden’s Nato bid, PM Orban says

Reuters News Service

Navalny was struck down with ‘sudden death syndrome’, his mother was told at Russian prison

Reuters News Service

Russia says its forces move forward after Ukraine withdraws from Avdiivka

Reuters News Service

Christodoulides ‘appalled’ by Navalny’s death

Nikolaos Prakas

Zelenskiy urges leaders to end arms shortage that is helping Putin

Reuters News Service

At least 340 people detained in Russia at events in memory of Navalny (Update 2)

Reuters News Service