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Saturday, Feb 24, 2024

Indian miners rescued 41 workers trapped in a 'rat-hole' tunnel

Rescue worker Munna Qureshi, after freeing 41 laborers trapped for over two weeks in an Uttarakhand tunnel, shared his relief with media.
Part of the $1.5 billion Char Dham project, the Silkyara construction site collapsed after a landslide on November 12. Dubbed a 'rat-hole' miner, a term typically referring to dangerous coal extraction methods banned in 2014 but still practiced in places like Meghalaya, Qureshi and his team hand-cleared the debris within 18 hours, enabling the evacuation.

Despite the name, these rescuers differ from true 'rat-hole' minors; they often perform manual excavation work in urban settings. The difficult rescue required multiple interventions after mechanical failures in the tunnel.

Rescuers and tunnelling mechanics navigated through dangers and heat to manually clear the path with tools like gas torches and sheer persistence. Social media lauded the ingenuity and courage of these untrained workers who completed their risky mission within a day.
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