41 workers in India were yesterday saved from a 17-day ordeal stuck in a tunnel in the state of Uttarakhand.
The entire rescue procedure is reported to have taken about an hour, and they were removed on wheeled stretchers through a 90 cm (3 foot) wide steel pipe. “They are in superb shape and in perfect condition, identical to mine or yours,” the leader of the rescue crew, Wakil Hassan, stated that there was no concern for their wellbeing.
When heavy machinery malfunctioned while attempting to breach the debris, trapping 41 workers in a tunnel in the Indian Himalayas, authorities called in a group of people known as “rat hole miners,” whose occupation is essentially outlawed in the nation. Even though augur machines were able to drill through over 75% of the rubble horizontally, on Tuesday, it landed on six miners who were skilled at crawling through small places to reach the trapped personnel.
With only 15 of the 60 meters needed to reach the trapped men, a second drilling machine failed, forcing the “rat miners” to begin work late on Monday. One person did the drilling, another collected the debris, and a third pushed it out of the pipe as they worked in two teams of three each. They claimed to have put in more than a full day’s labour.
The 41 men were receiving food, drink, light, oxygen, and medications through a pipe, but a number of obstacles hindered efforts to use powerful drilling machines to excavate a tunnel in order to save them. In videos, the workers can be seen leaping out of the tunnel, grinning, waving, and shaking hands with onlookers.
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The families of several stranded workers have commended and expressed gratitude to rescue officials for successfully rescuing their loved ones. The workers have also been discussing their experiences with the media.