OAN’s Elizabeth Volberding
11:50 AM – Tuesday, November 28, 2023
41 construction workers who have been trapped in a collapsed tunnel for 17 days in the Himalayan mountains were finally pulled out by Indian rescuers.
On Tuesday, the group of 41 men were saved by the rescuers after previous failed efforts.
The collapse is believed to have been sparked by a landslide in the unstable mountainous region.
India’s Transportation Minister Nitin Gadkari announced that the rescue was performed by a team of “rat miners” who shoveled through the large mound of debris that closed in on the tunnel’s entrance on November 12th.
“I am completely relieved and happy as 41 trapped laborers in the Silkyara Tunnel Collapse have been successfully rescued,” Gadkari said on X, formerly Twitter. “This was a well-coordinated effort by multiple agencies, marking one of the most significant rescue operations in recent years. Various departments and agencies complemented each other despite facing numerous challenges.”
“Tireless and sincere efforts by everyone, coupled with prayers from all, have made this operation possible,” Gadkari added. “The dedicated endeavors of the rescue teams have yielded favorable results.”
The Indian rescuers, who are said to be experts in a traditional method of coal mining, were called in on Monday after over two weeks of unsuccessful attempts to save the trapped workers.
The Indian rescue team were able to get through the debris pile and create a passageway for the trapped workers to get out.
The rescue came after numerous failed attempts to reach the stranded construction workers using strong machinery.
The rescuers have tried since the beginning of the collapse to drill through the wreckage using a heavy auger machine, however, the machine reportedly got stuck in the mountainside and had to be broken down in parts and then removed.
One day after the collapse, a narrow pipe was drilled into the tunnel, allowing rescuers to give the workers enough food, oxygen supply, and medicine.
None of the workers were severely injured or killed when the tunnel first collapsed on November 12th.
Stay informed! Receive breaking news blasts directly to your inbox for free. Subscribe here. https://www.oann.com/alerts