Uttarakhand Tunnel Viral Video, Arnold Dix: 17-Day Ordeal, Massive Rescue Op, Then A Dance: Uttarakhand Tunnel Tales

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17-Day Ordeal, Massive Rescue Op, Then A Dance: Uttarakhand Tunnel Tales

Rescuers dancing after pulling the 41 men trapped in tunnel to safety.

New Delhi:

The entire nation watched with rapt attention as 41 workers were brought out to safety after 17 days inside a collapsed Uttarakhand tunnel. The rescue was a marathon engineering operation where several agencies had to be brought in and contingency plans had to be put in place after giant drilling machines failed to get through the debris.

National and disaster relief forces, the Indian Army, police, and several other agencies worked round-the-clock to free the 41 men trapped beneath the collapsed Silkyara tunnel in Uttarakhand. Another key figure in the operation was tunnel expert Arold Dix who advised the government and agencies during the rescue.

The “softly, softly” approach to drilling escape holes, and gauging the auger’s impact on the already fragile and “still moving” mountainside, were key to the operation, Mr Dix told NDTV.

He also shared a video of some of the rescue team members celebrating after the precise 17-day operation came to a successful conclusion.

Sharing the video of him and SDRF personnel dancing, Mr Dix wrote, “Ever wondered how emergency responders feel when no one has been hurt. Join me with Uttrakhands SDRF Police Rescue unit as we celebrate our successful rescue from the tunnel.”

The professor also spoke about why the operation took time, even though several plans could be brought into action. He cited the example of the debate that preceded building a new road to the top of the collapsed structure to begin vertical drilling. He said experts routinely discussed the need to balance the lives of those trapped inside with risks to the rescuers and those to the environment.

“Yes, we were under criticism for how slowly we went but because our mission was saving lives we were really careful in the order of things we did. We were building multiple (escape) doors yes… but were careful about how each might affect the other,” he said.



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