Tunnel opened after 17 days, won the battle of life, read the full story of ‘Operation Silkyara’

Uttarakhand Tunnel Collapse: ‘Defeat happens when it is accepted, victory happens when determination is made.’ These lines have been written by famous poet Shakeel Azmi. These lines fit perfectly on the workers trapped in the tunnel of Uttarakhand. Even after being trapped in the tunnel for 17 days, these 41 laborers did not give up their courage and maintained the hope of survival. The result was that on Tuesday (28 November) all the workers were taken out of the tunnel safely.

A tunnel collapsed in Silkyara in Uttarkashi district of Uttarakhand. In this accident, 41 laborers were trapped in the tunnel, who came out of it on Tuesday (28 November) after a rescue operation that lasted for 17 days. Various agencies like Indian Army, NDRF and SDRF jointly conducted a joint rescue operation, after which these workers ‘cut through’ the mountain and came out of the tunnel. All the workers are said to be in healthy condition.

PM Modi congratulated the rescue team

According to news agency PTI, the first worker came out of the tunnel at 7.56 pm. After this, all the workers were taken out one by one. Prime Minister Narendra Modi praised the rescue workers for the success of the Silkyara rescue operation. He said, ‘I salute the spirit of all the people associated with this rescue operation. His bravery has given new life to our labor brothers. In such a situation, let us tell you the complete story of ‘Operation Silkyara’.

Laborers trapped in tunnel, CM arrives to meet them

On November 12, Diwali day, 41 laborers were trapped after a landslide in the Silkyara-Dandalgaon tunnel on the Brahmakhal-Yamunotri highway in Uttarkashi, Uttarakhand. A rescue operation was immediately started to bring them out safely. Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami got information about the incident and he reached the spot to meet the workers the very next day. He talked to the workers with the help of oxygen supply pipe and ordered to speed up the rescue.

Horizontal drilling started

In the initial phase of the rescue operation, horizontal drilling was started from 14 November. For this, the help of auger machine was taken, through which a tunnel had to be dug and 800-900 mm steel pipe had to be fitted in it. However, two workers were injured after being hit by the debris. Food, water and medicines also started being supplied to the workers through the same pipe through which oxygen was being supplied.

Advanced drilling machine imported from Delhi

There was not much success in the initial days of the rescue operation. The drilling machine also did not seem to be of much use. Seeing the condition of the workers trapped inside, ‘NHIDCL’ ordered advanced auger machine from Delhi. In view of the paucity of time, it was airlifted and taken here. On November 16, the new drilling machine was assembled and installed. But the rescue operation started at night.

PM gave instructions to boost morale, five plans prepared to save

Only 24 meters of drilling had been done with the new auger machine when something went wrong. After this a new auger machine was delivered from Indore. Then on November 17, the operation had to be stopped because cracks were seen inside the tunnel. The next day, Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) officials and experts prepared five evacuation plans, including alternative methods such as vertical drilling, to save the workers.

Most emphasis was given on vertical drilling. Prime Minister Modi spoke to CM Dhami and asked him to maintain the morale of the workers. On November 21, for the first time, a video of the workers trapped in the tunnel surfaced. In this they were seen talking. On the same day, drilling work in the tunnel also started from Balkot area. Then the next day, horizontal drilling was done for 45 meters, when only 12 meters were left, the auger machine once again malfunctioned.

Auger machine breaks down, life stuck in tunnel

Most emphasis was given on vertical drilling. Prime Minister Modi spoke to CM Dhami and asked him to maintain the morale of the workers. On November 21, for the first time, a video of the workers trapped in the tunnel surfaced. In this they were seen talking. On the same day, drilling work in the tunnel also started from Balkot area. Then the next day, horizontal drilling was done for 45 meters, when only 12 meters were left, the auger machine once again malfunctioned.

The obstruction caused by the iron of the auger machine was removed on 23 November and then the rescue operation began. While digging the tunnel, the officials reached 48 meters, but then cracks were reported. The operation started again the next day, but this time the auger machine faced problems. International tunneling expert Arnold Dix said that the auger machine broke down and now it cannot be used further.

When help reached the workers

The work of evacuating the people trapped in the tunnel started gaining momentum from 27th November. Actually, a group of 12 rat hole mining experts were called to dig the tunnel manually. Their job was to close the last 10 to 12 meter distance. After manual drilling, rescue workers fitted a pipe into the tunnel. In this way he reached a distance of 57 meters. In this way the work of reaching the workers was completed.

According to officials, these workers were taken out on wheelless stretchers through steel pipes in a 60-meter rescue shaft. The workers were pulled out one by one through a passage made from 800 mm pipes that were drilled and inserted into the 60 meters of debris spread in the blocked tunnel. After the workers were evacuated, they were taken to Chinyalisaur Community Health Center, 30 kilometers away from Silkyara, in an ambulance.

Also read: The first picture of the workers came out from the hospital, smiles were seen on their faces, they were stuck in the tunnel for 17 days.

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