Trapped workers rescued from Uttarakhand tunnel as 17-day operation ends

Bhubaneswar: The workers, who had been trapped inside an under-construction tunnel in Uttarakhand, were today rescued through a gruelling operation that lasted for several weeks.

The lobourers got trapped inside the tunnel when a portion of it collapsed on November 12.

In the first phase, five workers were rescued from the tunnel and taken to the ambulances. The remaining 36 labourers would be rescued phase by phase soon, sources said.

Five Odia labourers—Dhiren Nayak of Badakudar and Bisweswar Nayak of Jogibandh in Mayurbhanj, Raju Nayak of Kuldiha in Balasore, Bhagaban Bhotra of Nabarangpur, Tapan Mandal of Bhadrak district—were among 41 who got trapped in the Uttrakashi Silkyara tunnel in the hill state.

The labourers spent almost 17 days in the tunnel before they were rescued in a joint operation involving Indian Army, NDRF, SDRF and many other agencies and experts having expertise in handling such situation.

Several pieces of heavy equipment and modern technologies were deployed to rescue the trapped labourers.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Uttarakhand Chief Minister   Pushkar Singh Dhami and several senior officials from both Centre and the hill state had reviewed the rescue operation.

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had sent Labour Minister Sarada Prasad Nayak to Uttarakhand to take stock of the situation and coordinate with the authorities concerned.

At least one family member of each five Odia labourers was also sent to Uttarakhand to welcome their near and dear ones upon their rescue from the tunnel.

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