Rescuers Free All 41 Workers From Collapsed Tunnel In India After 17 Days


Photo: ARUN SANKAR / AFP / Getty Images

All 41 construction workers who were trapped in a collapsed tunnel in India for more than two weeks have been rescued. The workers became trapped on November 12 after a landslide caused part of the 2.6-mile tunnel they were building to collapse, leaving them trapped about 650 feet from the entrance.

Rescues worked around the clock to bore and drill through the debris to reach the trapped workers. They managed to push narrow steel pipes through the debris, allowing them to send food and water to the trapped workers throughout the rescue operation.

The rescue operation had several setbacks as the heavy construction equipment being used to drill through the debris broke down. A powerful drill provided by the United States broke down on Friday, just a few feet from the men, forcing them to continue digging by hand.

A crowd of locals who gathered nearby cheered loudly and set off fireworks as the workers were wheeled out of the tunnel on stretchers.

Officials did not provide updates on the workers' conditions but said they would all undergo a complete medical exam.

"The success of the rescue operation of our labor brothers in Uttarkashi is making everyone emotional," Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi wrote on X. "It is a matter of great satisfaction that after a long wait these friends of ours will now meet their loved ones. The patience and courage that all these families have shown in this challenging time cannot be appreciated enough. 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."

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