Following the evacuation of 41 trapped workers in the Uttarkashi tunnel, Indian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, Vikram Doraiswami, called it one of the most "heroic acts" of rescue ever in India.
Noting that those 41 workers were trapped in that tunnel for over 17 "drilling days," he said the message for the rescuers, the workers, their families, and the government is, "I think it's a fantastic piece of news. It is both a huge relief for everyone looking at this and recognising the trauma of not just the men who were trapped but also their families."
He further said, "It is also a huge credit to the skills and capabilities that our system has developed and, of course, to the international expertise that came into support that every single one of the men has been rescued unscathed."
Calling it a "red-letter day," Doraiswami said that it is also appropriate that it happened in the festive season immediately after Guru Purab, a few days after Diwali, and now their homes will be lit with celebration, and that their relatives are home unscathed for everybody.
"I think this is really a great day, and it's a great tribute to the perseverance of the rescue workers who put in unremitting effort to ensure that every one of these men was rescued safely," he stated.
He further congratulated the rescue teams and everyone involved in the operation.
"A big congratulations to the rescue teams and to a grateful nation, from every single Indian and every friend of India, I'm sure. Great kudos to everybody involved in the rescue," he added.
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 rescued workers were draped in orange marigold flower garlands and were greeted by Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami and Union Minister VK Singh. (ANI)