Family and friends of the 41 workers, who were safely pulled out from the debris of the collapsed tunnel in Uttarkashi after 17 days are jubiliant and have been celebrating by bursting firecrackers.
For them it was a late Diwali, as the tunnel collapse happened on November 12, the day of the the festival.
The family of rescued workers Ram Milan, Santosh Kumar and Ram Sundar in Uttar Pradesh's Shravasti rejoiced after their safe rescue.
Sandeep Kumar, the son of Ram Milan who was among the trapped workers, thanked everyone involved in the rescue operation.
"We are very happy. My relatives have gone to Uttarakhand to bring back my father. I would like to thank all those involved in the rescue operation," Sandeep said while speaking to ANI.
Mother of Santosh Kumar, another worker who was rescued expressed her gratitude to the central government for the successful operation.
"We have spoken to Santosh on the phone, and he is currently in the hospital. Today we celebrated Diwali... We thank the central government and the rescue workers," she said.
Another relative of Santosh said that they were asked not to worry when they spoke over the telephone with Santosh.
"I am very happy... He asked us not to worry and said that he would return soon. Six people from Shravasti were trapped inside the tunnel..." she said.
Expressing happiness and gratitude to the government, another relative said, "We are happy. We are celebrating Diwali. I thank the government for safely rescuing our children from the tunnel... We had a conversation with our son, and he said he is fine..."
Dhanpati, mother of Ram Sundar, a worker rescued from the Silkyara tunnel in Uttarkashi, said that the whole village celebrated its Diwali on Tuesday after the rescue operation of the trapped workers.
"We are very happy... We celebrated Diwali yesterday evening, the entire village celebrated Diwali happily yesterday," she said.
The men were trapped since November 12 when the part of the tunnel they were helping to construct in Uttarakhand gave way, blocking their only exit with more than 60 meters of broken rock, concrete and twisted metal.
Of the 41 men, eight are from Uttar Pradesh, 15 are from Jharkhand, two are from Uttarakhand, five are from Bihar, three are from West Bengal, five are from Odisha, two are from Assam, and one is from Himachal Pradesh.
The rescued workers were draped in orange marigold flower garlands and were greeted by Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami and Union Minister V K Singh.
Rescued worker gave a thumbs up the moment he comes out of the rescue pipe after being trapped inside the Silkyara tunnel for 17 days.
The first workers were brought out following a series of agonizing setbacks, during which rescue efforts were halted when the heavy drill meant to break through the debris broke down, forcing workers to adopt riskier methods.
Following the safe evacuation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi praised the courage and patience of the trapped workers and their families and the bravery and determination of the rescue personnel.
Modi in his post on X said, 'The success of the rescue operation of our labourer 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 are inspiring everyone. I wish you all well and good health.'
Later, he spoke to the rescued men over the phone.