The workers saw 'light at the end of the tunnel' after 17 days.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to workers, who were rescued from the collapsed tunnel after 17 days, over the phone after the operation was declared a success. All the workers were present in a room and spoke to the Prime Minister over the telephone.
The Prime Minister earlier 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 are 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.
The construction of the tunnel which is part of the ambitious Char Dham project, collapsed on November 12.
The Final Op
The workers saw 'light at the end of the tunnel' following a massive operation by central and state rescue teams to safely evacuate them.
The success came after experts in role-hole mining were roped in after high-tech drilling machines failed to clear the last few metres.
The rat miners made the breakthrough in Uttarakhand, digging the last 12-metre stretch in less than 24 hours.
The operation to pull the workers out began around 8 pm today and all the workers were taken out on stretchers 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.
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. Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami was at the spot, hugging the workers as they came out.
As soon as the first workers came out of the tunnel, the rescue personnel and those at the site welcomed them with garlands, sweets, and cheers. Families of the trapped workers rejoiced after meeting their loved ones for the first time in 17 days.
The ambulances - 41 of them, one for each worker - moved out in batches from the tunnel site with the rescued workers for the emergency medical facilities set up in Chinyalisaur, around 30 km away.