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Meghalaya Miners Trapped: Rescue Operations To Continue on 30 Dec

At least 15 miners have been trapped in this coal mine in Meghalaya since it flooded about two weeks ago.

Updated
India
3 min read

Three helmets were recovered from Ksan mine in Meghalaya on Saturday, 29 December, where at least 15 workers have been trapped since the coal mine flooded about two weeks ago, ANI reported.

“We haven’t been able to recover anything today, except the three helmets that were recovered in the beginning, but we're trying. Since it's evening, rescue operations to continue tomorrow at first light,”SK Singh, Asst Commandant NDRF, told ANI.

Rescue operations at the Ksan mine.
Rescue operations at the Ksan mine.

The Odisha fire services team reached the spot at 1 pm on Saturday with 10 high-powered pumps and began flushing out water from the mine near Lytein river, reported Hindustan Times.

Pump-manufacturing company Kirloskar Brothers Ltd and Coal India jointly moved 18 pumps to the ‘rat-hole’ mine in Khliehriat in the state’s East Jaintia Hills district, officials said.

A photo of three helmets recovered from the site. 
A photo of three helmets recovered from the site. 
(Photo: ANI)

The Indian Air Force airlifted 10 pumps from Bhubaneswar and landed in Guwahati (Assam), 270 kilometres from the mine, on Friday, 28 December.

A group of Indian Navy divers from Visakhapatnam will join the operations by Saturday morning, PTI reported citing official sources.

Odisha Fire Services team leaves for Meghalaya in a special aircraft to assist local authorities in the rescue operation.
Odisha Fire Services team leaves for Meghalaya in a special aircraft to assist local authorities in the rescue operation.
(Photo: ANI)

Meanwhile, the NDRF, on Thursday, contradicted media reports which purportedly quoted it as saying the trapped minors were suspected to be dead on the basis of the foul odour its divers had smelt when they had gone inside the mine.

It said the foul smell could be due to the stagnant water in the mine, reported PTI.

On Friday, Assistant Commandant of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) SK Singh, said:

“Even today our divers went down. The water level is the same as yesterday. Coal India senior officials came to assess the situation today. Presently, the situation is a bit hopeful. High-pressure pumps are arriving. Earlier pumps weren’t working well. I’m hopeful as soon as pumps arrive, water level will recede and we’ll operate further.”
SK Singh, Assistant Commandant, NDRF, as quoted by ANI
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Rescue operations were suspended by the Meghalaya government on Monday, 24 December, for want of high-powered pumps to flush out water from the pit.

Officials have been waiting for 100 horsepower pumps to arrive for the past three days, while the state government was yet to send them across.

Earlier, NDRF Deputy Commissioner in Jaintia Hills Federick Dopth told The Quint that he had written to the Meghalaya government on 19 or 20 December asking for 100 horsepower pumps to clear the water.

“We wrote to the Meghalaya government and Coal India. They need to arrange for the pumps. We can’t arrange for them.”
Federick Dopth, Deputy Commissioner, NDRF, Jaintia Hills, Meghalaya

Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma had met Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh in New Delhi on Thursday, 27 December, to discuss the issue.

(With inputs from PTI, ANI)

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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