Canberra, Australia, November 29, 2023 (ANI): Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese hailed the Indian authorities for successfully carrying out the rescue operation to evacuate 41 workers who were trapped inside the Silkyara-Barkot tunnel in Uttarakhand.
He also expressed pride in the role of Professor Arnold Dix, a tunnelling expert from Australia, who oversaw the operation that progressed over two weeks, navigating myriad challenges.
“A wonderful achievement by Indian authorities. Proud that Australian Professor Arnold Dix played a role on the ground,” Albanese posted on X (formerly Twitter).
Australian High Commissioner to India, Philip Green also hailed the rescue operation and termed it an “immense achievement”.
He underlined the efforts, of Professor Arnold Dix, who provided technical support that eventually led to the safe extraction of all the trapped workers.
“This is an immense achievement. Well done to the authorities for successfully evacuating all 41 workers trapped in the tunnel in #Uttarkhand. Special commendation to Australia’s Professor Arnold Dix who provided important technical support on the ground,” Green posted on X.
On November 12, a section of the tunnel between 205 and 260 metres from the Silkyara side collapsed. Workers who were beyond the 260-metre mark were trapped, with their exit blocked.
All 41 workers who were trapped inside Uttarakhand’s Silkyari tunnel since November 12 were evacuated safely on Tuesday evening. The breakthrough was achieved at 7:05 pm.
The rescued workers were draped in orange marigold flower garlands and were greeted by Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami and Union Minister VK Singh.
Earlier, Prime Minister Narendra Modi also heaped praises on the rescuers and said that they have set an “example of humanity and teamwork”.
“The success of the rescue operation of our labourer 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,” PM Modi posted from his X handle.
Hours after the safe evacuation of 41 trapped workers on Tuesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to the rescued men over the phone. (ANI)