Rat hole mining, a banned mining technique, made the rescue operation successful.
All 41 workers were successfully rescued from the collapsed Silkyara tunnel in Uttarakhand after 17 days. All the workers were pulled out of the tunnel in approximately an hour. The extraction process took some time to allow each worker to re-acclimatise to surface conditions, where the temperature is around 14 degrees Celsius at this time.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi appreciated the efforts of the rescue team to successfully and safely take the workers out.
"The success of the rescue operation of our 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 is inspiring everyone. I wish you all well and good health," the Prime Minister posted on X.
"It is a matter of great satisfaction that after a long wait these friends of ours will now meet their loved ones. The patience and courage that all these families have shown in this challenging time cannot be appreciated enough," the Prime Minister added.
President Droupadi Murmu said, "She is relieved and happy to learn that all the workers trapped in a tunnel in Uttarakhand have been rescued."
"Their travails over 17 days, as the rescue effort met with obstacles, have been a testament of human endurance," the President posted on X.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah said, "It is great news for the nation that all our 41 Shramik brothers trapped in a tunnel in Uttarkashi have been rescued safe and sound."
"Nation salutes their grit in facing such a challenging situation in the tunnel for so long," he posted on X.
"I am completely relieved and happy as 41 trapped laborers in the Silkyara Tunnel Collapse have been successfully rescued," Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways, Nitin Gadkari, said.
"This was a well-coordinated effort by multiple agencies, marking one of the most significant rescue operations in recent years. Various departments and agencies complemented each other despite facing numerous challenges," he added.
"Thank you to everyone who has made their invaluable contribution in saving the lives of labor brothers," Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said.
"The hard work of NDRF, Army and other agencies has paid off and all the workers trapped in the tunnel of Uttarakhand have been rescued safely," Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said.
"I salute the efforts and hard work of all those involved in this operation who worked day and night to make it successful," he added.
Rat hole mining, a banned mining technique, made the rescue operation successful to clear the last few meters after the operation was stalled after high-tech machines, or augers, failed to drill through the 60-meters of the collapsed portion.
Personnel from the National Disaster Response Force, or NDRF, had gone down the pipe first to assess the condition of the trapped men and guide them through rescue protocols. Each worker was strapped to the stretcher that was then manually pulled up through 60 metres of rock and debris.
Visuals from the rescue site showed an ambulance pulling away from the rescue site.
The workers were brought out on specially modified stretchers; these were lowered manually down a two-metre-wide pipe inserted into holes drilled into the hillside.