The major 17-day rescue effort in the Silkyara tunnel finished successfully on Wednesday, as all 41 workers emerged out of the entrapment safely. The rescuers were in the spotlight, earning all the accolades for their tireless hard work and resilience. In his statement, prime minister Modi praised the spirit of all those participating in the rescue operation, saying that everyone involved in the endeavor provided a great example of humanity and collaboration. 

Many government agencies with large personnel were deployed 24 hours a day, seven days a week in the uncertain terrain of the uttarakhand tunnel, however, the last mile was completed by rat-hole miners. munna Qureshi, who was the first to approach the workers, has been praised as the operation's hero.

Who is munna Qureshi? The first rescuer to meet the 41 men

Munna Qureshi, 29, is a rat-hole miner for a delhi firm that provides trenchless engineering services to clean sewage and water lines. He was one among dozens of rat-hole miners recruited to uttarakhand to clear the final 12 meters of rubble.

After the US-made auger equipment failed and had to be pulled from the trench, rat-hole miners became the last resort of the rescue mission. Rat-hole mining is a way of obtaining coal by excavating small holes – however, it was outlawed as a coal-extracting method in 2014 due to its unscientific nature.

Munna Qureshi claimed he observed the 41 trapped workers when he lifted the last rock on tuesday evening. "They hugged me, cheered in applause, and thanked me profusely," munna Qureshi explained.

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