Uttarakhand Tunnel Rescue: After 17 days, light at the end...

Rescue crews successfully freed five of the 41 workers who had been stranded inside the Silkyara tunnel for 17 days on tuesday night, marking a significant breakthrough. Teams of rescuers are inside right now to save the remaining employees. Pushkar Dhami, the chief minister of Uttarakhand, stated that officials are getting ready to begin the evacuation process after finishing the work of forcing the pipe through the debris. Dhami is currently at the tunnel site.

"The currently underway rescue mission in Silkyara Tunnel has been extremely successful; the task of pushing pipe across the debris has been completed," he wrote on X, sharing photos from the tunnel. The process of safely evacuating the workers has now begun." One of the rat-hole miners said that it would take fifteen to twenty minutes to evacuate every individual. The National Disaster Management Authority member Lt General Syed Ata Hasnain (retired) had previously stated, "The entire evacuation is expected to take 3–4 hours. The evacuation will be coordinated by three NDRF teams inside the tunnel. Support will be given by SDRF. Additionally, paramedics will enter the tunnel during the evacuation."

To protect the workers' safety, he stressed that "no early statements are to be established" and that they were moving quickly. Teams from the National Disaster Response Force were observed entering the Silkyara-Barkot tunnel with stretchers and mattresses in order to prepare for the workers' rescue. Many ambulances also made their way into the tunnel. 

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