Video Captures Moment Workers Trapped In Tunnel For 17 Days Are Set Free

(Public/Screenshot/Twitter/User: @ianuragthakur)

John Oyewale Contributor
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Construction workers trapped in a road tunnel that collapsed while under construction in northern India were all rescued Tuesday, ending their 17-day ordeal, a video showed.

The 41 workers, in reflective jackets, grinned as they shook hands with Uttarakhand state’s Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami and other figures while rescuers cheered, the video posted to Twitter showed.

“What a terrific day for #India as workers trapped in the #Uttarkashi tunnel are rescued after days of ceaseless efforts. Every person involved with the #UttarkashiRescue justly deserves the nation’s salute and gratitude. Exceptional grit and determination!” Kanchan Gupta, senior advisor at the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, wrote in the tweet accompanying the video.

“After over two weeks of untiring efforts, our engineers, technicians and staff of the rescue team have safely rescued all 41 people trapped inside an under-construction Silkyara-Barkot tunnel at Uttarkashi. … But our rescuers overcame all stupendous challenges and ensured a ray of light at the end of the tunnel. … The ordeal is over now,” Information Minister Anurag Thakur tweeted.

The workers were trapped in the Silkyara road tunnel in the Uttarkarshi district of Uttarakhand state after a landslide on Nov. 12, a previous report noted. A posse of emergency workers reportedly toiled using drilling equipment and excavators to attempt to rescue the workers in the Himalayan state while also sending food and oxygen to them. (RELATED: More Than 30 Workers Trapped As Road Tunnel Collapses In Landslide In India)

Describing the successful rescue as “emotional” for everyone, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted that the rescued workers’ “courage and patience” was “inspiring.”

“I wish you all well and good health,” Modi added. “I also salute the spirit of all the people associated with this rescue operation. His bravery and determination have given new life to our labor brothers. Everyone involved in this mission has set an amazing example of humanity and teamwork.”

Philip Green, Australia’s High Commissioner to India, also tweeted his congratulations to the authorities on the successful rescue. “Special commendation to Australia’s Professor Arnold Dix who provided important technical support on the ground,” he added.