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First of 41 Indian workers rescued from collapsed tunnel

Rescuers manage to reach workers trapped in mountainous area in northern India after more than two weeks.

Ambulances wait to carry workers from the site of an under-construction road tunnel that collapsed in Silkyara in the northern Indian state of Uttarakhand, India, November 28, 2023 [AP Photo]Published On 28 Nov 202328 Nov 2023

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

Officials at the site in the Himalayan state of Uttarakhand expressed confidence that all the workers would be rescued soon, following days of failed rescue attempts that hit snags just metres from reaching the men.

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Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami, the state’s top elected official, met some of the rescued men before they were taken to hospital. Officials at the site, where sweets were being distributed in celebration, said the workers appeared to be in good health.

The men have been stuck in the 4.5km (three-mile) tunnel being built in Uttarakhand state in northern India since it caved in early on November 12.

Authorities have said they were safe, with access to light, oxygen, food, water and medicines.

Military engineers finally had to use a so-called “rat-hole mining” technique, digging by hand to clear the rocks and rubble over the remaining 9 metres (29 feet), with temperatures plummeting in the remote mountain location.

(Al Jazeera)

Source: Al Jazeera