On Tuesday morning, the first images of the trapped laborers inside the collapsed Silkyara tunnel in Uttarkashi, Uttarakhand, surfaced.
Larger supplies of food and real-time images of the 41 workers who had been trapped within the collapsed tunnel for eight days were made possible on Monday after rescuers managed to squeeze a six-inch-wide pipeline through the debris.
The labourers, with thick beards, were seen in their hard hats and work gear, waving to the camera, communicating that they are coping well. Rescue officials, speaking to the workers through Walkie Talkies or radio handsets, were seen asking the workers to come in front of the camera.
“Aap camera ke paas walkie talkie pe aake baat karein (come in front of the camera and talk to us through Walkie Talkie),” an official was heard asking them.
The khichdi in glass bottles that were sent through the pipe last night gave the stranded workers their first hot meal in ten days. They had been surviving on water and dried fruits up until now.
The development came as a big relief to the families of the workers trapped inside the tunnel.
Yogendra Kisku, brother of Virendra Kisku from Bihar’s Banka, said, “Nitin Gadkari ji told us that the rescue will be completed in two-and-a-half days. Our hopes were breaking down. Now, good news is here, images of workers are out…Virendra is not in the photo but our hopes are getting stronger now. Couldn’t celebrate Diwali and Chhath.”
Virendra’s wife also expressed her wish to talk to her husband.
Meanwhile, Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami also posted on X about the development in the Uttarkashi tunnel rescue operation.
सिलक्यारा, उत्तरकाशी में निर्माणाधीन सुरंग के अंदर फँसे श्रमिकों से पहली बार एंडोस्कोपिक फ्लेक्सी कैमरे के माध्यम से बातचीत कर उनका कुशलक्षेम पूछा गया। सभी श्रमिक बंधु पूरी तरह सुरक्षित हैं। pic.twitter.com/vcr28EHx8g
— Pushkar Singh Dhami (@pushkardhami) November 21, 2023