'We are fine': First video emerges of 41 workers trapped in collapsed tunnel for nine days

Footage has emerged of the dozens of Indian workers who have been stuck in a destroyed tunnel for nine days.

The clip shows rescuers asking if everyone is okay and telling the 41 men: “We will reach you shortly – don’t worry.”

One of the workers pulls an endoscopic camera through the new pipe, which was drilled into the tunnel on Monday, and shows the rest of his colleagues.

They can all be seen wearing safety helmets and jackets as some of them are individually identified.

The Silkyara tunnel was under construction in the Himalayan state of Uttarakhand when it collapsed after a landslide on November 12.

Teams have been in contact with the workers ever since, and they have been provided with water, food and oxygen.

Officials asked the workers if they were okay (Department of Information and Pu)
Officials asked the workers if they were okay (Department of Information and Pu)

They had to rely on snacks such as grams and dry fruits sent through a narrower pipe drilled earlier.

But the wider pipe installed on Monday meant the men were able to receive their first hot meal.

On Tuesday, rescuers are set on to resume drilling horizontally through a 60-metre pile of debris to push through a pipe large enough for the trapped men to crawl out.

Drilling had been suspended on Friday after a machine snag and fears of a fresh collapse.

Authorities are simultaneously working on five other plans to pull out the workers, including drilling vertically from the top of the mountain.

Abhishek Sharma, a psychiatrist sent to the site by the state government, said he had asked the 41 men to walk within the 2km area where they are confined, do light yoga exercises and talk regularly among themselves to keep occupied.

A Hindu priest prays at a makeshift shrine outside the entrance of the tunnel (Reuters)
A Hindu priest prays at a makeshift shrine outside the entrance of the tunnel (Reuters)

The doctor said: "Sleep is very important for them ... and as of now they have been sleeping well and not reported any difficulties in sleeping," adding that the men were in good spirits and keen to emerge soon.

Another doctor at the site, Prem Pokhriyal, said the men had been asked to avoid heavy workouts that could boost the accumulation of carbon dioxide gas in the confined space as they breathe out.

The trapped men are low-wage workers, most of them from poor states in India's north and east.

The Silkyara tunnel is part of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s project aimed at better connecting the famous Hindu shrines in the Uttarakhand district.

Similar accidents have occurred over the years. In January, thousands of people were evacuated from their homes in Joshimath, also located in Uttarakhand, after more than 600 houses developed cracks.

Landslides during the monsoon season in India have also caused several disasters such as the death of over 60 people in the Himalayas in August this year.