India says all 41 construction workers trapped in a tunnel in northern part of the country after a landslide on 12 November have been rescued.
They were extracted one by one via a pipe 90cm (3ft) in diameter, which has been inserted through the rubble of the collapsed tunnel in Uttarakhand state, the BBC reports.
A tunnelling expert says rescuers managed to break through to the group at 19:05 local time (13:35 GMT).
The CNN reports that it took weeks to bore an escape route for the workers through the mountain, with the last two metres drilled by hand, before the rescued men eventually emerged to cheers.
Video footage from the scene showed Pushkar Singh Dhami, chief minister of Uttarakhand state meeting the workers, who appeared to be in good health, as they were removed from the tunnel amid jubilant scenes.
The Network added that the first workers were removed following a series of agonizing setbacks, during which rescue efforts were halted when the heavy machinery used to drill through the debris broke down, forcing workers to partially dig by hand and adopt other riskier methods to bring them to safety.
India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi in a tweet on X said the success of the rescue operation of “our labour brothers in Uttarkashi is making everyone emotional. I want to say to the friends who were trapped in the tunnel that your courage and patience is inspiring everyone.
“I wish you all well and good health. It is a matter of great satisfaction that after a long wait these friends of ours will now meet their loved ones.
“The patience and courage that all these families have shown in this challenging time cannot be appreciated enough. I also salute the spirit of all the people associated with this rescue operation.
“His bravery and determination have given new life to our labor brothers. Everyone involved in this mission has set an amazing example of humanity and teamwork.”