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Meet Arnold Dix, the Australian engineer and lawyer who helped in the Uttarkashi tunnel rescue of 41 men

AD: We developed multiple strategies to extract the men and each strategy had different strengths and weaknesses and risks associated with it. We were carefully balancing what sequence of events we should do. Because our objective was no one should get injured. 

As time was progressing, our understanding of the mountain was also changing and we could see that it was moving and that there was the possibility of further collapse. We were constantly balancing everything, and in the end, rat-miners were needed because we needed a soft approach to get through.

We were in such a fragile environment with a risk of collapse, and the rat-miners… they offered us a very gentle way of doing the excavation, which is a very long-standing and well-known technique. 

I only know now that it’s illegal for mining, but we weren’t using them on a daily basis for mining.

This was an emergency exercise and we needed them. They saved the day, because they provided us with the ability to go millimeter by millimeter, really gently underneath the avalanche, to get to the people. 

Source: Barandbench

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