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'Combined sense of purpose to save 41 people outweighed all challenges' says Tunnelling expert Arnold Dix

Speed News Desk | Updated on: 29 November 2023, 11:18 IST
International tunnelling expert Arnold Dix

Uttarkashi (Uttarakhand): After the successful evacuation of all 41 workers who were trapped inside Uttarakhand's Silkyara tunnel for 17 days, International tunnelling expert Arnold Dix, said on Wednesday that though there were multiple challenges in the rescue operation, the combined sense of purpose to save the 41 people weighed out all the challenges.

Facing Myriad Challenges with a Unifying Mission

On being asked about the kinds of challenges faced during the rescue operation, Arnold Dix said, "I think it would be better to say, what kind of challenges didn't we face? And what we didn't face was a combined sense of purpose to save the 41 people. That's the challenge we didn't face. We don't have that in many places. Everyone knew we were bringing those men home."

The Mantra of Success: Staying Calm and Focused

Speaking about the mantra of success for the operation, the International tunnelling expert said that they stayed calm and knew exactly what they wanted.

"We worked as a wonderful team. And when I say a wonderful team, the best engineers here in India, the army, their engineers, the best I've ever worked with, all the agencies, the federal authority, the state, all the people, it was just a joy. A joy to be a part of this successful mission," he said.

Gratitude Expressed Through a Temple Visit

Further speaking about his temple visit after the success of the rescue mission, Dix said that he made a promise to God to say thank you for the safe rescue and evacuation of all trapped workers.

"If you haven't noticed, I think we have just witnessed a miracle," he said.

Recognition and Acknowledgment

The International tunnelling expert further reacted to the Australian Prime Minister congratulating him and the Indian authorities for the successful rescue operations and said, "Thank you, Mr Prime Minister. But as an Australian, sir, if you're watching, it's been my privilege and my pleasure to show that we're fantastic at not just cricket, I love cricket, but we do other things as well, including tunnel rescue."

A Unique and Injury-Free Rescue Operation

Dix, while speaking to ANI, further said that this rescue was different as compared to other rescue operations he has done, as no one got hurt during this operation, which is usually not the case in rescue operations. "It's pretty different. This was just fantastic," he said.

Appreciation for Indian Cuisine and Warmth

The international tunnelling expert, while speaking of his liking for India, said that he really enjoyed the Indian vegetarian food. "The Northern Indian vegetarian food is so yummy, I reckon I could go to Northern India. Your food is fantastic. I can't cook like that in Australia. The best vegetarian food ever," Dix said.

Workers Safely Evacuated

All 41 workers who were trapped inside Uttarakhand's Silkyari tunnel since November 12 were evacuated safely on Tuesday evening.

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.

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.

CM Dhami announced that the Uttarakhand government will provide financial assistance of Rs 1 lakh to each of the workers trapped in the Silkyara tunnel.

(With ANI inputs)

First published: 29 November 2023, 11:18 IST