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Business News/ News / India/  Uttarkashi tunnel rescue: 'Licked water dripping from rocks', rescued worker recounts ordeal
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Uttarkashi tunnel rescue: 'Licked water dripping from rocks', rescued worker recounts ordeal

Uttarkashi tunnel rescue: The 41 workers who were trapped in the tunnel have been rescued and are now under observation in a hospital. They will be taken to AIIMS-Rishikesh before returning home.

Uttarkashi tunnel rescue: A worker comes out through a pipe inserted to rescue 41 workers from the collapsed Silkyara Tunnel (PTI)Premium
Uttarkashi tunnel rescue: A worker comes out through a pipe inserted to rescue 41 workers from the collapsed Silkyara Tunnel (PTI)

After being trapped for 17 days inside a tunnel, the trapped workers have finally been rescued by the efforts of multiple-agencies, including the Indian Army. Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami, who monitored the entire operation for the past 17 days, said the health of all the workers is 'fine'. A prolonged rescue operation came to an end on Tuesday night (28 November) when a team of 12 rat-hole miners and NDRF personnel rescued the workers between 7:45 pm to 9 pm.

Uttarkashi tunnel rescue LIVE

The rescue workers on Wednesday shared the experience they underwent inside the Silkyara tunnel in Uttarkashi.

Anil Bediya, one of the 41 rescued workers survived the ordeal by eating 'muri' (puffed rice) and licking water dripping from rocks.

"It was a nightmarish ordeal...we licked water dripping from rocks to quench our thirst and survived on muri for the first 10 days," Bediya, who is now recuperating at a Uttarakhand hospital, said.

After the first 10 days of gruelling anxiety, supplies, including fruits like bananas, apples and oranges, besides hot meals like rice, dal and chapatis became regular along with water bottles,' the 22-year-old worker said.

"Huddled together, we used to pray desperately for early rescue ...finally God heard us," he said.

Several workers said they 'never lost hope'. Saba Ahmed, a worker from Bihar said that though they were stuck in the tunnel for days, they did not feel any fear or nervousness.

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“We were like brothers, we were together. We used to take a stroll in the tunnel after dinner. I used to tell them to do morning walks and yoga," Ahmed said.

Vishal, a resident of Himachal Pradesh's Mandi said, “The initial few hours were difficult because we felt suffocated. But soon after, contact was made with people outside and everything slowly became normal".

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"We never lost hope... I am absolutely fine. All of us are fine and I am thankful to everyone for evacuating us safely," he added.

Former advisor to the Prime Minister's Office Bhaskar Khulbe, who has been supervising the rescue efforts praised the workers for showing courage. " The courage shown by the 41 workers demonstrates that one should never lose hope. Difficulties do come in life," Khukbe said.

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All the 41 workers rescued from the tunnel have been kept under observation at a hospital in Chinyalisaur. They will likely be taken to AIIMS-Rishikesh before allowing them to go back to their homes.

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Published: 29 Nov 2023, 11:04 AM IST
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