NEW DELHI: After 17 painful days, all the 41


who were trapped in Uttarakhand’s

Silkyara tunnel

since November 12, were rescued on Tuesday. Many experts were involved in what is being touted as one of the country’s biggest rescue operations. One of them is international



Arnold Dix

Dix was called on November 20 to help rescue the trapped workers.

The final challenge in the rescue operation was tackled by a group of men versed in the technique of rat-hole mining, which typically involves extracting small amounts of coal by going down narrow burrows.
Who is Arnold Dix?

Dix is the president of the International Tunnelling and Underground Space Association. Professor Arnold Dix specialises in underground and transportation infrastructure – from construction risk to more technical issues associated with actual safety performance from an operational safety perspective.
He also provides advice on risks associated with underground construction and is widely recognised as the world’s leading expert on underground tunnelling.

Dix has been a part of Underground Works Chambers, which is a panel of International experts in the management and resolution of the complex risks arising in underground works – design and construction.
Major contribution to tunnel rescue operation
Arnold Dix arrived at the Silkyara tunnel site on November 20 and conducted an inspection. He spoke to the agencies that was on the ground being actively involved in the rescue operations.
Dix had earlier ruled out risks of a collapse in the area where the incident took place.
“It may have been an unusual situation occurring here where the class of rock changes. It has to be investigated. The area that collapsed hadn’t collapsed before; it wasn’t even given any clue that it was going to collapse before. So, it is a part of the challenge for us–what is it about the ground here, this mountain that caught us on the back foot,” Dix told ANI earlier.
He added that he never promised that the rescue operations would go smoothly and end quickly.
“In the beginning, I never promised it would be quick, I never promised it would be easy, I never said it would be tomorrow, I never said it would be tonight. Always I said they will be home for Christmas and will be safe,” the tunnelling expert added.
Dix was also seen offering prayers at a temple outside Silkyara tunnel for the safety of trapped workers on Tuesday and had affirmed that the workers would be back with their families by Christmas.
A portion of the tunnel caved in on November 12, with the debris falling in the 60-metre stretch on the Silkyara side of the tunnel, trapping 41 labourers inside. The workers were trapped in a 2 km-built portion of the tunnel.

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