Ranchi: 41 laborers trapped in the Silkyara tunnel of Uttarakhand had initially given up all hopes of survival. This claim has been made by Anil Bedia, a worker who was safely taken out of the tunnel on Tuesday. Bedia narrated how he tried to survive his initial days in the tunnel by eating puffed rice and licking the water seeping from the stones.
‘Initially I had given up hope of survival’
“Loud screams echoed in the air,” Bedia, a 22-year-old resident of Jharkhand, said over the phone from Uttarakhand on Wednesday morning. We all thought that we would be buried in the tunnel and had given up hope of survival in the first few days.” Bedia is recovering in a hospital in Uttarakhand. “It was like a terrible ordeal,” he said. For the first few days, we licked the water seeping from the stones to quench our thirst and survive on Muri.
Workers’ family members celebrating their exit from the tunnel
When officials contacted, hope of survival arose
Bedia, a resident of Khirabeda village near Ranchi, along with 12 other people had gone to Uttarkashi on November 1 for livelihood. Luckily only three of these people were in the tunnel. Of the 41 laborers trapped in the tunnel, 15 were from different districts of Jharkhand. “The first hope of our survival arose when the authorities contacted us after some time,” Bedia said.
Disabled Shravan Bedia’s only son was trapped in the tunnel.
Rajendra, the only son of 55-year-old disabled Shravan Bedia of Kheerabeda, was also trapped in the tunnel. He was seen celebrating his son’s exit from the tunnel on Tuesday evening. Apart from Rajendra and Anil, Sukhram was also trapped in the tunnel for 17 days. Sukhram’s disabled mother Parvati was distraught after getting the news of her son getting stuck in the tunnel, but was very happy after getting the news of his safe exit.
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