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Uttarakhand Tunnel Accident: Mission 41 this story matter?

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First, let me tell you how the accident happened – Due to a landslide at around 5:00 am on the morning of 12th November, a part of the Silkyara-Dandalgaon tunnel located on the Yamunotri National Highway in Uttarkashi suddenly collapsed, due to which 41 laborers from 8 states got trapped inside the tunnel.

When the debris fell, they knew they were stuck, said Vishwajeet Kumar Verma, one of the 41 workers rescued on Tuesday from the partially collapsed Uttarkashi tunnel in Uttarakhand after 16 days. The trapped workers became anxious in the beginning but settled down after the first day as they received the first bits of food in the form of puffed rice and cardamom seeds. They stated that they never lost hope and felt assured that they would be rescued.

The workers were trapped when a portion of the 4.5km under-construction Silkyara tunnel, part of the ambitious Char Dham all-weather road project, collapsed on November 12. While none of the workers are critical, their mental and physical well-being continues to be of concern since they were trapped without proper food, ventilation, or sunlight for days. The episode also serves as a wake-up call for environmental assessment and structural norms—especially in Himalayan projects—which were reportedly skipped in this tunnel’s construction.

Belief in God and rescue efforts kept them going
Chamra Oraon, a 32-year-old worker from Jharkhand’s Khunti district, said breathing fresh air felt like a new lease of life. While being taken to the hospital, he said, “We believed in God and that gave us strength. We also believed that since 41 people are trapped, somebody would rescue us.” He looks forward to reuniting with his wife and three children in Khunti. Earning Rs. 18,000 a month, Oraon is unsure if he will return to work in the tunnel.

Played Ludo on phone: Worker on coping mechanism
Oraon recalled the moment the debris fell and trapped the tunnel. “I ran for my life but got stuck on the wrong side,” he said. He described eating the first bite as feeling like a divine intervention. To pass the time, they played Ludo on their phones, charged using the available power supply, and talked to each other as there was no network connectivity. They bathed in natural hill water and had designated a specific area for relieving themselves.

Will seek employment within the state: Rescued worker
Vijay Horo, another rescued worker from Jharkhand, spoke to his brother Robin from an ambulance.
He said his family doesn’t want him to go out of the state to work anymore. Robin said that they are both educated and would try to find jobs within Jharkhand or seek less risky employment elsewhere if necessary.
Saba Ahmed, one of the trapped workers from Bihar, said that although they were stuck for days, they did not feel any fear or nervousness.

Workers to go home after medical examination at AIIMS Rishikesh
Among the trapped workers, 15 were from Jharkhand, eight from Uttar Pradesh, five each from Bihar and Odisha, three from West Bengal, two each from Assam and Uttarakhand, and one from Himachal Pradesh.
After the rescue operation, they were taken to a 40-bed health facility at Chinyalisaur, nearly 30 km from the tunnel.
They would be kept there under observation and would be discharged after a thorough medical examination at AIIMS Rishikesh.

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