Image: Getty Images

Forty-One Indian Labourers Trapped In Collapsed Tunnel Successfully Rescued

The 41 Indian labourers trapped for 17 days after a tunnel collapsed have all been freed following gruelling rescue efforts.

Multiple rescue attempts failed in the days leading up to the successful rescue, having been faced with obstacles and delays.

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But after more than 400 hours, the trapped men emerged from the Sikyara-Barkot tunnel in the Himalayan mountains on wheeled stretchers.

The successful rescue saw crew drill through debris of rock, concrete, and mud to reach the labourers, who were then pulled through a 90-centimetre-wide steel pipe.

The men were presented with garlands made of flowers, hung around their necks by officials as the crowd cheered their safe rescue.

Australian lawyer and engineering professor Arnold Dix, who is also the president of the International Tunnelling and Underground Space Association helped plan the rescue, describing the outcome as a “phenomenal” effort.

“I’ve done disasters my whole life, I’ve never seen anything like this,” Mr Dix said to Today.

“Somehow or other we managed to rescue all these people and it’s just phenomenal.

“If you looked at where the cards were, at our deck, you wouldn’t have been putting any money on us.”

It is still unknown what caused the tunnel to collapse, however the region is prone to natural disasters including landslides, earthquakes, and floods.

An audit to the National Highway Authority of India has been ordered to audit the 29 tunnels being built across the country.

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