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India jubilant as all trapped workers rescued from Himalayan tunnel

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India juibilant as all trapped miners rescuedRescuers on Tuesday pulled out all 41 workers trapped for 17 days inside a collapsed tunnel in the Himalayas after drilling through the debris of rock, concrete and earth to reach them, triggering jubilation across India.

The evacuation of the men - low-wage workers from some of India's poorest states - began more than six hours after rescuers broke through the debris in the tunnel in Uttarakhand state, which caved in on Nov. 12.

They were pulled out on wheeled stretchers through a 90 cm (3 feet) wide steel pipe, with the entire process being completed in about an hour.

"Their condition is first-class and absolutely fine ... just like yours or mine. There is no tension about their health," said Wakil Hassan, a rescue team leader.

The first to be evacuated, a short man wearing a dark grey winter jacket and a yellow hard-hat, was garlanded with marigold flowers and welcomed in traditional Indian style inside the tunnel by state chief minister Pushkar Singh Dhami and federal deputy highways minister V.K. Singh.

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