Uttarkashi tunnel collapse Day 17 updates | Tunnel ordeal ends, all 41 trapped workers rescued

President, PM laud rescue teams and workers for grit, perseverance; Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to the rescued workers over phone; Uttarakhand CM announces ₹1 lakh compensation each; The workers will be under observation for 48-72 hours

November 28, 2023 07:27 am | Updated November 29, 2023 07:04 am IST

Ambulances carrying rescued workers leave after emergency and rescue teams safely bring out all trapped workers from the collapsed Silkyara tunnel in Uttarakhand’s Uttarkashi district on November 28, 2023.

Ambulances carrying rescued workers leave after emergency and rescue teams safely bring out all trapped workers from the collapsed Silkyara tunnel in Uttarakhand’s Uttarkashi district on November 28, 2023. | Photo Credit: AFP

With 41 workers walking out of the collapsed Silkyara tunnel in Uttarakashi on Tuesday evening, their 17-day ordeal in the dark under-construction passage that started early in the morning of November 12, the day of Deepavali, finally came to an end, spelling success for one of the most challenging and dangerous rescue operations taken up in India.

A jubilant mood prevailed outside the tunnel since morning when the rescue teams announced that the rat-hole miners, in coordination with the Army, managed to manually dig through 55 metres of debris horizontally. Just another two metres was left to reach the trapped workers then. As the family members of the workers started gathering outside the tunnel, the officials asked them to pack their bags as the breakthrough was expected by afternoon.

Also read: Uttarkashi tunnel rescue updates - November 27, 2023

At 2 p.m., Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami, in a post of X, said: “As a result of the immense grace of Baba Baukh Nag Ji, prayers of millions of countrymen and the tireless work of all the rescue teams, the work of laying pipes in the tunnel to take out the workers has been completed. Soon they will be taken out.”

However, an announcement by the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) in New Delhi at 4.15 p.m. that the breakthrough is yet to be achieved, dimmed hopes.

Around 7 p.m., the rescue teams began moving inside the tunnel and the ambulances were brought to the spot.

Around 7.30 p.m., the State government announced that the first worker was being brought out of the tunnel. In a little over an hour, all 41 men were out. Read more. 

(With inputs from Agencies)

Follow here for all Live updates
  • November 29, 2023 01:59
    No one critical: Uttarakhand CM Pushkar Dhami after 41 labourers rescued from tunnel

    Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami on Tuesday said none of the 41 labourers rescued from an under-construction road tunnel in Uttarkashi district was in a critical condition.

    “All of them were healthy. They crawled out of the passage rather than being carried on stretchers,” Mr. Dhami told reporters soon after the evacuation of the labourers from the Silkyara tunnel.

    He said the labourers, who were trapped in the tunnel for almost 17 days after a portion of the structure collapsed due to a landslide on November 12, will be kept under medical observation, before being sent home.

    The agency they are working for and the National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited (NHIDCL) have been asked to allow them to go home for 15-20 days, the chief minister added.

    - PTI

  • November 29, 2023 00:47
    “Never imagined we could do this”: Wakeek Hassan tells The Hindu
  • November 29, 2023 00:40
    Watch | Wakeek Hassan, leader of the rat mining team that dug the final 18 meters, speaks to The Hindu
  • November 29, 2023 00:39
    “Congratulations to the dedicated teams and experts for executing this challenging rescue mission,” says vice President Dhankar
  • November 29, 2023 00:21
    Nation salutes the resilience of the workers and remains grateful to them for building critical infrastructure, even at great personal risk: President Murmu
  • November 28, 2023 23:37
    PM Modi speaks to rescued workers over phone
  • November 28, 2023 23:03
    All 41 rescued workers shifted to Community Health Centre in Chinyalisaur for medical treatment
  • November 28, 2023 22:46
    Celebration time in Odisha as 5 State workers rescued from tunnel

    Celebrations broke out in Odisha on Tuesday evening after all 41 workers including five from the State who were trapped inside an under-construction tunnel in Uttarakhand, were rescued.

    Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik thanked the rescue team for evacuating the workers from the Silkyara tunnel after almost 17 days.

    It was a festival-like atmosphere in the villages of the five workers from the State as people distributed sweets, beat drums and danced to the tune of music.

    The family members of the five were now relieved and thanked the government and all agencies involved in the massive rescue operation.

    “It gives me immense pleasure to learn about the successful rescue operation and I am very happy that our workers will return home safe,” Mr. Patnaik said in a statement.


  • November 28, 2023 22:36
    Australia’s High Commissioner to India Philip Green lauds rescue operation, calls it an immense achievement
  • November 28, 2023 22:23
    Kin of trapped workers say they won’t send them to Silkyara again

    “I won’t send him here [Silkyara] ever again, no matter what,” said Romen Narajari, brother of Ram Poshak Narajari who is one among the 41 workers trapped inside the Silkyara tunnel after a collapse that took place on November 12, on the day of Deepavali. After multiple efforts, all 41 workers were rescued on Tuesday. 

    Romen, who belongs to Ramfalbil Village in Kokrajhar, Assam, reached the tunnel site on November 14 and had been awaiting the rescue of his elder brother for over a fortnight. With a small bag of clothes, Romen spent the nights in a small room provided to him by the Uttarakhand government, metres away from the tunnel. When it used to get colder in the nights, Romen used to sit next to the bonfire set up by the police near the barricades at the tunnel site. 

    Read the whole story here.
  • November 28, 2023 22:08
    Safe return of the labour brothers trapped in the Silkyara tunnel of Uttarkashi is very happy news: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi

    Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday said that the safe return of the trapped labourers is very happy news. Taking to X, Mr. Gandhi said, “The safe return of the labour brothers trapped in the Silkyara tunnel of Uttarkashi is very happy news. My heartiest congratulations to them and their families.”

    The safety of our labour brothers who are building India is of paramount importance. I salute all the brave men who made this difficult campaign successful, the Congress leader said. 

  • November 28, 2023 21:42
    Police officials outside Chinyalisaur health centre

    WhatsApp Image 2023-11-28 at 21.38.09.jpeg

  • November 28, 2023 21:39
    ₹1 lakh to be given to each rescued worker: CM Dhami

    Uttarakhand CM Dhami said on Tuesday that ₹1 lakh would be given to each rescued worker. 

    Mr. Dhami also said that the Baukhnag temple would be rebuilt, and the tunnels under construction would be reviewed. 

    The trapped workers were so happy and fit that even though we sent the stretchers, the workers crawled in the 57-60 met long 800 mm pipe, he added. 

    Mr. Dhami thanked PM Narendra Modi for his constant support during the rescue efforts. “Evacuation began with the youngest of workers. Labourers rescued from the tunnel are to be kept under medical observation before being sent home,” he said. 

  • November 28, 2023 21:26
    Rescued workers will be under medical supervision: CM Dhami

    Following the successful rescue operation of the 41 trapped workers, Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami told the media that all the rescued workers will be kept under medical supervision, and monitoring will be done, before they will be sent home. 

    “Since the workers have come out from a difficult environment, as per the direction of the doctors, all the workers would be under medical supervision and their monitoring will be done,” Mr. Dhami said. 

    None of the workers is critical, the CM added. 


  • November 28, 2023 21:21
    All 41 trapped workers brought out from collapsed Silkyara tunnel



  • November 28, 2023 21:20
    I thank everyone who was involved in this difficult and challenging task: CM Dhami
  • November 28, 2023 21:14
    It is great news for the nation that all our 41 Shramik brothers trapped have been rescued safe: Union Home Minister Amit Shah

    Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Tuesday said it is great news for the nation that all the trapped labourers have been rescued successfully. 

    On X, Mr. Shah said, “Nation salutes their grit in facing such a challenging situation in the tunnel for so long.”

  • November 28, 2023 21:09
    CM Dhami, Union Minister V.K. Singh meet the workers
  • November 28, 2023 21:06
    Relieved and happy to learn that all trapped workers in a tunnel have been rescued: President Murmu
  • November 28, 2023 21:04
    Success of rescue operation of our labour brothers in Uttarkashi is making everyone emotional: PM Modi

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said the success of the rescue operation of the trapped labourers in Uttarkashi is making everyone emotional. 

    Taking to X, Mr. Modi said, “The success of the rescue operation of our labour brothers in Uttarkashi is making everyone emotional. I want to say to the friends who were trapped in the tunnel that your courage and patience are inspiring everyone.”

  • November 28, 2023 20:51
    After a harrowing 17 days the 41 workers rescued: Congress leader Jairam Ramesh
  • November 28, 2023 20:49
    15 trapped workers brought out within 30 minutes after the first man was pulled out
  • November 28, 2023 20:48
    Completely relieved and happy as 41 trapped labourers have been successfully rescued: Nitin Gadkari

    Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways, Nitin Gadkari on Tuesday said he is completely happy and relieved as all 41 trapped labourers have been successfully rescued. 

    Taking to X (formerly Twitter), Mr. Gadkari, said, “This was a well-coordinated effort by multiple agencies, marking one of the most significant rescue operations in recent years.”

  • November 28, 2023 20:44
    Timeline of the disaster and the rescue operation at Silkyara

    November 12: The labourers get trapped as portions of the Silkyara-Dandalgaon under-construction tunnel on the Brahmkhal-Yamunotri highway collapse following a landslide at around 5.30 am on the day of Diwali.

    Arrangements were made to supply oxygen, electricity and eatables to the trapped labourers through air-compressed pipes as multiple agencies, including the NDRF, SDRF, BRO, project executing agency NHIDCL and ITBP, begin rescue efforts.

    November 13: Contact is established with the trapped workers through a pipe meant to supply oxygen to them and they are reported to be safe. Fresh rubble keeps falling from above the debris accumulates in an area of around 30 metres and spreads to 60 metres.

    November 14: Steel pipes of 800- and 900-millimetre diameter are brought to the tunnel site to be inserted through the rubble with the help of an auger machine for horizontal digging.

    However, when more rubble falls from the cavity created by the cave-in, two labourers sustain minor injuries.

    November 15: Dissatisfied with the first drilling machine, the NHIDCL asks for a state-of-the-art auger machine, which is airlifted from Delhi to speed up the operation.

    November 16: The drilling machine is assembled and installed. It starts working past midnight.

    November 17: The machine drills about 24 metres through the 57-metre rubble stretch by the afternoon and four MS pipes are inserted. The process comes to a halt when the fifth pipe hits an obstacle.

    Another high-performance auger machine is flown down for the rescue efforts.

    In the evening, during the positioning of the fifth pipe, a big cracking sound is heard in the tunnel. Fearing the possibility of further collapse in the vicinity, the operation is suspended immediately.

    November 18: Drilling does not resume on Saturday as experts feel that the vibrations created by the diesel-driven 1,750-horsepower American auger inside the tunnel might cause more debris to collapse, posing a risk to the lives of the rescue personnel.

    Alternative options are explored by a team of officials from the PMO and experts who decide to work on five evacuation plans simultaneously, including vertical drilling through the top of the tunnel to rescue the trapped labourers.

    November 19: Drilling remains suspended while Union Minister Nitin Gadkari who reviews the rescue operation says boring horizontally with the huge auger machine appeared to be the best bet.

    November 20: PM Narendra Modi speaks to CM Pushkar Dhami over the phone to take stock of the operations.

    However, the team is yet to resume the horizontal drilling that got suspended after a boulder appeared to block the progress of the auger machine.

    November 21: Rescuers release the first video of the labourers trapped. The workers, wearing yellow and white helmets, are seen receiving food items sent to them through a pipeline and talking to each other.

    Two blasts are set off at the Balkot-end of the tunnel, beginning the process of drilling another tunnel - an alternative to the Silkyara-end option. But experts said the approach could take up to 40 days.

    The NHIDCL resumes overnight the horizontal boring operation from the Silkyara end that involves an auger machine.

    November 22: Horizontal drilling of 800 mm diameter steel pipes reaches about 45 metres with only 12 metres remaining of the around 57-metre debris stretch. Ambulances are kept on standby.

    However, in a late evening development, the drilling hits a hurdle when some iron rods come in the way of the auger machine.

    November 23: The iron obstruction that had caused a delay of six hours in the drilling is removed. Officials say the 48-metre point has been reached by the drill. But boring through the rubble is put on hold again apparently after cracks appeared in the platform on which the drilling machine rests.

    November 24: The 25-tonne machine is restarted and drilling is resumed. However, in a fresh hurdle, the drill hits a metal girder halting the operation again.

    November 25: The blades of the auger machine drilling through the rubble are stuck in the debris, forcing officials to consider switching to options that could drag on the rescue by several days, even weeks.

    Officials now consider two alternatives: manual drilling through the remaining 10-12 metres of the rubble or drilling down 86 metres from above.

    November 26: Vertical drilling of 19.2 metres is done to create an alternative escape route. As the drilling progressed, 700-mm wide pipes were being inserted to create an escape passage. 

    November 27: Rat-hole mining experts are called in to help with rescuers required to dig through horizontally around 10 metres of rubble. Simultaneously, vertical drilling from above the tunnel has reached a depth of 36 metres.

    November 28: Rescue workers break through the last stretch of the rubble at about 7 p.m. NDRF and SDRF men enter the steel chute to reach the trapped workers and start bringing them out on wheeled stretchers one by one. The first labourer is evacuated.


  • November 28, 2023 20:22
    Locals distribute sweets as trapped workers start coming out one by one
  • November 28, 2023 20:18
    ‘Modi hai to mumkin hai’: Locals gather at Silkyara tunnel site, shout slogans

    With the rescue operations nearing a breakthrough at the Silkyara tunnel, residents from nearby areas gathered at the site to witness the evacuation of 41 trapped workers from the tunnel.

    Some people were shouting slogans like ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ and ‘Modi hai to Mumkin hai’ in acknowledgement of the multi-agency rescue operation going on for over a fortnight at the tunnel.

    The locals also sang in prase of local deity ‘Baba Baukhnag’ and expressed their gratitude to him. 

    The priest of a temporary temple of Baba Baukhnag, which was set up at the tunnel site, arrived and offered prayers.

    “It is happening because of the blessings of Baba Baukhnag,” priest Ram Narayan Awasthi told PTI. 

  • November 28, 2023 20:17
    15 workers successfully rescued
  • November 28, 2023 20:16
    CM Dhami, Union Minister V.K. Singh go inside tunnel as trapped workers start coming out
  • November 28, 2023 20:10
    Seven workers taken out, rest of them will be rescued soon: Rescue team member
  • November 28, 2023 20:08
    Five workers successfully rescued

    Five of the 47 workers trapped inside the tunnel since November 12 have been successfully rescued on Tuesday. 


  • November 28, 2023 20:07
    CM Dhami greets rescued workers outside the tunnel

    WhatsApp Image 2023-11-28 at 20.04.52.jpeg

  • November 28, 2023 19:57
    First worker successfully rescued

    Days after 41 workers were trapped, the operation successfully rescued one worker. 

    The worker was brought out from the collapsed Silkyara tunnel. 

    They will be taken to the Chinyalisaur Community Health Center.

    WhatsApp Image 2023-11-28 at 20.02.48.jpeg

  • November 28, 2023 19:51
    First worker will come out by 8 p.m.: rescue team member

    Harpal Singh, a member of the rescue team speaking to the media minutes after the breakthrough said he first worker will come out by 8 p.m. 

    “The breakthrough happened at 7:05 p.m.,” Mr. Singh said. 

  • November 28, 2023 19:47
    What is the rat-hole mining technique that has been used in the rescue operation?

    Rat-hole mining involves digging of narrow tunnels, usually three to four feet high, for workers to enter and extract coal. The horizontal tunnels are often termed “rat holes”, as each just about fits one person. 

    At the Silkyara tunnel in Uttarkashi, at least 12 experts have been called by Trenchless Engineering Services Pvt Ltd and Navayuga Engineers Pvt Ltd to deploy the rat-hole mining technique horizontally in the collapsed part of the main structure. 

    Twelve rat-hole mining experts are involved in the horizontal excavation through the last 10 or 12-metre stretch of debris of the collapsed portion of the under-construction tunnel on Uttarakhand’s Char Dham route. 

    The National Green Tribunal in 2014 imposed a ban on coal mining using the rat-hole mining technique in Meghalaya. 


  • November 28, 2023 19:44
    There has been great success in rescue operation: CM Dhami
  • November 28, 2023 19:42
    Four to five NDRF people have gone inside: Rescue operation worker

    A worker involved in the rescue operation on Tuesday said four to five people from NDRF have gone inside. “The process of rescuing the workers has already begun. We are taking stretchers inside to bring the trapped workers outside...”

  • November 28, 2023 19:35
    NDRF, SDRF personnel enter tunnel for rescue, rescue operation reaches last leg

    NDRF and SDRF personnel entered the tunnel on Tuesday to rescue 41 workers trapped inside. 

    The rescue operation of workers may start soon.

  • November 28, 2023 19:20
    Visuals from inside the Silkyara tunnel
  • November 28, 2023 18:47
    Silkyara tunnel construction began 4 years ago as part of Char Dham project

    The work of construction of the Silkyara tunnel was started four years ago to decrease the distance from 28 kilometres to 4.5 kilometres between Gangotri and Yamunotri, as part of the Char Dham project. 

    The ₹12,000 crore project was announced on December 23, 2016. It aims at broadening the roads of about 900 km of national highways for safer, smoother and faster traffic movement. They connect the holy shrines in Uttarakhand: Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath. The project also includes the Tanakpur-Pithoragarh stretch of the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra route. 

  • November 28, 2023 18:26
    Uttarakhand CM Pushkar Singh Dhami leaves the rescue site
  • November 28, 2023 18:14
    “Eagerly waiting for their safe, healthy return”: Assam CM taking regular updates on 2 workers trapped in Uttarkashi tunnel

    Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma has been monitoring and taking regular updates on the well-being of two workers from the Kokrajhar district, who are among the 41 trapped inside the Uttarkashi tunnel, a portion of which collapsed on November 12, the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) informed through an official release on Tuesday.

    “Two persons from District Kokrajhar, Assam have been trapped in the Uttarakhand Tunnel. For the last 16 days, HCM Dr @himantabiswa has been constantly monitoring the well-being of the workers and the families in Assam,” read a post on the official handle of the Assam CMO on Tuesday. 


  • November 28, 2023 17:46
    It will take entire night to complete this operation: NDMA’s Syed Ata Hasnain

    Addressing the media on the rescue operation at the Silkyara tunnel site, the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) member Lieutenant General Syed Ata Hasnain (Retd.), said it will take an entire night to complete the operation. 

  • November 28, 2023 17:33
    Have rushed a team to Uttarkashi to help our people: West Bengal CM

    West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday said she has rushed a team to Uttarkashi to help people from the State. 

    “The team, led by Rajdeep Dutta, Liaison Officer, Office of Resident Commissioner, New Delhi, will help evacuation and safe return of the trapped workers in the tunnel at Silkyara, Uttarkashi to their homes in West Bengal,” she said on X. 

  • November 28, 2023 17:18
    Workers will be kept under medical observation for 48-72 hours after rescue: NDMA

    The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) on Tuesday said facilities are in place to provide medical aid to the workers. 

    “After the rescue, workers will be kept under medical observation for 48-72 hours,” the NDMA added. 

    Medical staff has arrived at the tunnel and a special ward with 41 oxygen-supported beds was readied days earlier at the community health centre in Chinyalisaur, about 30 km from Silkyara, for the rescued workers.

    Doctors were standing by and arrangements were made to fly the workers to more advanced hospitals if needed.


  • November 28, 2023 17:03
    It will take about three to five minutes to pull out one individual: NDMA member
  • November 28, 2023 16:52
    Not in any hurry, will work while taking care of the safety and security of rescuers: NDMA

    NDMA’s Syed Ata Hasnain in a media briefing today that all safety precautions will be implemented, and that the rescue operations will not be hurried unnecessarily. ”We also have to take care of the safety and security of people who are rescuing the workers...We are not in any hurry,” he said, adding that no premature announcements [regarding the trapped workers] are to be made, as it will be against all principles. 

  • November 28, 2023 16:41
    Preparations for airlift underway at Chinyalisaur helipad in case of a medical emergency
  • November 28, 2023 16:28
    Lt. Gen. Syed Ata Hasnain (Retd.), Member, NDMA says entire evacuation is expected to take 3-4 hours
  • November 28, 2023 16:23
    We are near a breakthrough, but not yet there: NDMA

    NDMA personnel, in a media briefing today, said that rescuers are near a breakthrough, but not quite there. 

    He said that 58 meters of drilling has been done, about 2 meters more needs to be dug. 

    - PTI

  • November 28, 2023 16:14
    Visuals from Chinyalisaur Community Health Centre where the 41 workers will be brought following their rescue
  • November 28, 2023 16:10
    Rat-hole miners dug through the last stretch for the final pipes to be laid to reach trapped workers

    Officials decided to switch to manual boring to break through the last 10 metres of the rubble after the heavy-duty auger drilling machine got stuck in the rubble on Friday.

    Twelve rat-hole mining experts were called in to finish the last stretch of drilling using hand-held tools in a confined space.

    - PTI

  • November 28, 2023 16:03
    Relatives asked to keep belongings of trapped workers ready

    As the relatives await the return of the trapped workers, anticipation had been building up at the disaster site on the Char Dham route hours before the news broke outside.

    “Even, nature looks cheerful today,” Jaimal Singh said as he waited for his brother Gabbar Singh’s evacuation.

    “We have been asked to keep our belongings rolled up and wait for further instructions,” he said.

    - PTI

  • November 28, 2023 15:49
    Ambulances have reached inside the Silkyara tunnel to ferry out the trapped workers, who are expected to be rescued soon

  • November 28, 2023 15:43
    “I will be happy when my son arrives I won’t believe it until I see it with my own eyes,” says mother of trapped worker
  • November 28, 2023 15:38
    Medical staff arrives at Silkyara tunnel

    Medical staff has arrived at Silkyara tunnel as the rescue operation reaches its final phase.

    A special ward with 41 oxygen-supported beds was readied days earlier at the community health centre in Chinyalisaur, about 30 km from Silkyara, for the rescued workers.

    Doctors were standing by and arrangements made to fly the workers to more advanced hospitals, if needed.

    - PTI

  • November 28, 2023 15:26
    Preparations are under way to welcome the trapped workers who are expected to be rescued soon today
  • November 28, 2023 15:20
    Editorial | A touchstone of risk: On the rescue efforts in the Silkyara tunnel in Uttarkashi

    “The trapped workers were extending National Highway 134 to cut travel time by an hour...The entrapped workers and their families are undergoing extreme psychological stress. In hindsight, all this suggests that this was a project that ought not to have commenced in the first place.”

    Read The Hindu’s editorial on the rescue operation to bring out 41 trapped workers that is now nearing completion. 

  • November 28, 2023 15:06
    Each worker to be brought out one-by-one by NDRF workers, as per previous plan

    As per the decided plan National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) personnel are expected to enter the steel chute pushed into the drilled passage and then bring out the workers one-by-one.

    Going by the practised drill, each worker will lie down on a wheeled stretcher that would be pulled by rescue workers outside using ropes. This is expected to take about two or three hours.

    - PTI

  • November 28, 2023 14:54
    Kin of trapped workers wait anxiously as rescuers have expressed hope of 'good news‘ by today evening

  • November 28, 2023 14:46
    Data and voice services provided at vertical location of Silkyara tunnel

    Telecom operator Jio has provided data and voice services the vertical location of the hilltop of the Silkyara tunnel in short time of 12 hours.

    Workers from Jio assisted in restoring the connectivity in the hilltop for ease of rescue operation.

    Meanwhile, National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited (NHIDCL) Managing Director Mahmood Ahmad said that vertical drilling up to 44 metres is completed out of 86 metres needed adding that the operations on all fronts are progressing equally.

    - ANI

  • November 28, 2023 14:36
    Seems wait will be over today: Father of worker trapped in Silkyara tunnel

    It seems the long wait will be over today, said Chaudhry, hoping that rescuers drilling through the rubble at the partially collapsed Silkyara tunnel here will within a few hours reach his son and the other 40 workers trapped inside it for over two weeks.

    Waiting at the tunnel site to see his 22-year-old son Manjit, Chaudhry, a resident of Lakhimpur Khiri in Uttar Pradesh, said, “Officials have told us evacuation of workers is likely. We have been asked to keep our clothes and belongings ready.” 

    On whether he will be taken along with his son after rescue to the hospital, Chaudhry said doctors will go in the ambulances. “But we have been told arrangements will be made for us wherever they are taken after evacuation,” he said.

    - PTI

  • November 28, 2023 14:26
    Work of laying pipes in the tunnel to take out the workers has been completed: Uttarakhand CM

    In a post on X, Uttarakhand CM Dhami said that the work of laying pipes in the tunnel has been completed, and that soon all the trapped workers will be taken out. 



    He credited this development to the “prayers of crores of countrymen and the tireless work of all the rescue teams engaged in the rescue operation.”

  • November 28, 2023 14:21
    Vertical drilling completed up to 44 metres

    National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited (NHIDCL) Managing Director Mahmood Ahmad said that vertical drilling up to 44 metres is completed out of 86 metres needed adding that the operations on all fronts are progressing equally.

    “Vertical drilling is being done by SJVNL; drilling up to 44 metres out of the total 86 metres is complete. THDC executed 7th blast today. So, we gained another 1.5 metres. Work is ongoing, we have not stopped any of our various options,” he said.

    - ANI

  • November 28, 2023 14:10
    Several ambulances enter the Silkyara tunnel
  • November 28, 2023 14:01
    ‘Hoping for good news by evening’: Nodal Officer for Silkyara rescue

    Nodal Officer for the Silkyara rescue operation and Secretary to the Uttarakhand government, Neeraj Khairwal, during a press briefing today, informed that if there are no more hurdles, the rescuers are anticipating an early evacuation of the trapped labourers.

    Addressing the media at the tunnel site, Neeraj Khairwal said, “As of now, we have pushed 55.3 metres of the pipe. This includes clearing of the rubble as well as laying the pipe. Only a little more distance remains. It might be somewhere between 57-59 metres.”

    “It might take a few more hours if there are no more hurdles. By evening we are hoping. Let’s pray and hope for the best,” he added.

    - ANI

  • November 28, 2023 13:54
    One more pipe has to be welded today. We will then take out the muck and push the pipe in: Mahmood Ahmad of NHIDCL
  • November 28, 2023 13:35
    Breakthrough achieved at Silkyara tunnel

    Breakthrough has been achieved at Silkyara tunnel where 41 workers have been trapped for the past 16 days. 

    Operation to bring out the trapped workers will start soon. This will take another 3 to 4 hours.

    - Ishita Mishra

  • November 28, 2023 13:23
    CM Dhami reviews rescue operation


    Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami reviews the ongoing rescue operation at the Silkyara Bend-Barkot tunnel site, in Uttarkashi district, on November 28, 2023. Photo Credit: PTI

  • November 28, 2023 13:07
    Hopes are high!

    “Family members and relatives of the 41 trapped labourers have been asked to be prepared and keep the clothes and bags of the workers ready as the ongoing rescue effort raises hopes of an early evacuation,” as per official sources. According to the sources, the workers will be taken to Chinyalisaur Hospital after being rescued from the collapse site. The efforts to rescue 41 trapped labourers are progressing on multiple fronts with both vertical and manual drilling works taking off at an almost similar pace from atop the hill and inside the tunnel accordingly. - ANI

  • November 28, 2023 12:48
    SDRF put on the right beam


    Members of the State Disaster Response Fund are being briefed outside a temporary makeshift camp as rescue operations are in progress at the tunnel site, in Uttarkashi, in Uttarakhand, on November 28. Photo Credit: Reuters

  • November 28, 2023 12:21
    Ambulances ready, road being repaired to rush workers trapped in Silkyara tunnel to hospital

    With just five metres left to achieve a breakthrough in digging through the rubble of the Silkyara tunnel, preparations got underway to rush the trapped workers to a hospital for immediate medical care following their rescue.

    A separate ward comprising 41 oxygen-supported beds has been readied at the community health centre in Chinyalisaur, about 30 km from Silkyara, for the workers.

    The road outside the tunnel, which became uneven due to regular movement of heavy vehicles over the past fortnight was being repaired and a fresh layer of soil was being laid for smooth movement of ambulances.

    - PTI

  • November 28, 2023 11:44
    Police personnel on their toes

    help desk.jpeg

    A view of the police help-desk put up outside the Silkyara Bend-Barkot tunnel, during the ongoing rescue operation, in Uttarkashi district, on November 28. Photo Credit: PTI

  • November 28, 2023 11:25
    “Let there soon be light at the end of the tunnel”


    Local residents pray at the site where rescue operations are under way at a tunnel, where workers are trapped after a tunnel collapsed, in Uttarkashi in the northern State of Uttarakhand, on November 28, 2023. - Photo Credit: Reuters

  • November 28, 2023 10:38
    Robotic scientist joins operation

    Milind Raj.jpeg

    Robotic scientist Milind Raj, who joined the rescue operations, claimed that he has built a robot which will be sent inside the tunnel, via the six-inch lifeline pipe, and not only monitor the health of the workers but will also help in detecting hazardous gases inside, like methane. Photo Credit: ANI

  • November 28, 2023 10:28
    Uttarakhand CM Pushkar Singh Dhami reaches site

    Pipes have been inserted up to 52 metres through the rubble at Silkyara tunnel, Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami said, as efforts to rescue the 41 workers trapped there continued for the 17th day. The breakthrough point is 57 metres, he told reporters in Silkyara.

    “Pipe has gone in up to 52 metres. Earlier it was at 51 metres. It was pushed one metre further in my presence. It will be pushed two metres more to 54 metres after which one more pipe will be laid,” Mr. Dhami said.

    When asked whether there were hurdles on the way, he said steel and iron girders were not being encountered. “Stones are coming in the way but they are being broken using cutters,” the Chief Minister said.

  • November 28, 2023 09:52
    “This truck might overturn, not our hopes”


    A crane being used to lift a truck carrying a drill bit after it overturned a few kilometres away from the under-construction Silkyara tunnel, in Uttarkashi district, on November 27. Photo Credit: PTI

  • November 28, 2023 09:42
    51 metres drilled; “Good news could be expected by this evening,” hopes expert

    The crossing of 50 metres raises hopes of an early evacuation as rescuers have to go only up to a few more metres to make a breakthrough.

    However, the speed of the operation depends on whether or not the rescuers encounter any hurdle in the course of excavation which has often been hampered by something or the other.

    A skilled team of workers is doing muck removal by hand using the rat hole mining technique while the 800-mm diametre pipe is being inserted by the auger machine through the rubble.

    Praveen Yadav, who is involved in cutting and removing the hurdles from the debris, said 51 metres have been drilled.

    A worker from the Trenchless company, which is pushing the pipes with the auger machine, said if no hurdles are faced, some good news could be expected by this evening. - PTI

  • November 28, 2023 09:06
    Manual drilling under way, 50 metres crossed so far in total

    Micro tunnelling expert Chris Cooper, on November 28, said three metres of manual drilling has been done so far and about 50 metres of drilling work has been completed in total. As per official sources, about 57 metres of drilling work from the mouth of the tunnel, is to be done in total to lay a pipe inside the tunnel to reach the trapped workers. 

    Mr. Cooper said, “It went very well last night. We have crossed 50 metres. It’s now about 5-6 metres to go. We didn’t have any obstacles last night. It is looking very positive.” - ANI

  • November 28, 2023 08:35
    A glimpse of rat-mining method, which is popular in Meghalaya:

    rat hole.jpeg

    A series of rat holes mines in East Jantia Hills district, Meghalaya.

    “Rat mining” is a primitive, hazardous and controversial method used mostly to remove coal deposits through narrow passages. In this procedure, miners in small groups go down narrow burrows to excavate small quantities of coal. This is a technique, famous in Meghalaya, wherein the workers drill small holes in the earth to do coal mining. The name comes from its resemblance to rats burrowing through narrow holes.

    Meanwhile, Uttarakhand government’s nodal officer Neeraj Khairwal made it clear that the men brought to the site were not rat-hole miners but people who are experts in this technique. They are likely to be divided into teams of two or three. Each team will go into the steel chute laid into the escape passage for brief periods.

    “Three of us will go inside the tunnel, one will do the drilling the other will collect muck and the third one will push the muck through the trolley,” Rakesh Rajput, one of the miners, said.

    “We have been doing it for more than 10 years and there’s enough space for us. The 41 men are also labourers and we all want to bring them out,” Mr. Rajput said. Another rat hole mining expert said they can remove 10 metres of muck or rubble in 20 hours. - Agencies

  • November 28, 2023 08:21
    No involvement in Uttarkashi tunnel construction: Adani Group

    The Adani Group has issued a clarification that it has no involvement in the construction of the Uttarakhand tunnel that collapsed. The company stated that it strongly condemns the attempts to link it to the incident. “Adani Group or any of its subsidiaries have no direct or indirect involvement in the construction of the Uttarkashi tunnel.” The Indian conglomerate said in a media statement that some elements are making attempts to link them to the unfortunate collapse of the under-construction tunnel in Uttarakhand. 

    “The Navayuga Engineering Company Limited was building the tunnel. We also clarify that we do not own or hold any shares in the company involved in the tunnel’s construction,” an Adani Group spokesperson said. “At this time, our thoughts and prayers are with the trapped workers and their families,” the spokesperson added. - ANI

  • November 28, 2023 07:41
    IMD predicts rain in Uttarakhand; issues Orange alert

    The India Meteorological Department (IMD) issued an Orange alert on November 27, indicating the possibility of rain and hailstorms in Uttarakhand for the next 24 hours. R. K. Jenamani, head of weather forecasting in the Meteorological Department said, “Currently, the rescue operation is going on in Uttarkashi to bring out the labourers trapped in there. In such a situation, this change in weather may create troubles in the rescue operation.” - ANI

  • November 28, 2023 07:29
    PM Modi urges to pray for 41 labourers trapped in Uttarkashi tunnel, says govt ‘leaving no stone unturned’ to get them out

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said that the government and all the agencies together are leaving no stone unturned to evacuate the workers trapped in the Uttarakhand tunnel for the last two weeks and that people should pray for them to get out safely and as soon as possible.

    The Prime Minister said that nature is constantly throwing challenges towards the rescue operation, underway to bring the trapped men out.


0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.