The exhaustive operation spanning over two weeks to rescue 41 workers from the collapsed Silkyara tunnel in Uttarakhand has concluded on a positive note, earning accolades for Australian tunnelling expert Arnold Dix, who provided crucial technical support on-site. Australian High Commissioner to India Philip Green also praised Dix’s contributions, which played a pivotal role in the safe extraction of all trapped workers.
“This is an immense achievement. Well done to the authorities for successfully evacuating all 41 workers trapped in the tunnel in #Uttarkhand. Special commendation to Australia’s Professor Arnold Dix who provided important technical support on the ground,” Green wrote on his X handle.
During an update on the rescue operation, Dix shared insights into the situation, describing how the mountain seemed to be a protective force for the trapped workers. He likened it to an ancient story, expressing the belief that the mountain was safeguarding the 41 individuals like a mother, ensuring their safety without harm. According to him, the will of the mountain would determine when and through which entrance the people would emerge.
The tunnel collapse occurred on November 12, with debris blocking a 60-meter stretch on the Silkyara side, trapping the laborers inside the 2 km-built portion of the tunnel. The breakthrough was finally achieved at 7.05 pm on Tuesday, marking the completion of drilling through the rubble and successfully pushing an 800-900 mm pipe tunnel through the debris.