Meghalaya mine tragedy: Hope for survival of trapped miners rises as team of Indian Navy divers leaves for rescue operation

Kheliehriat: Hopes of evacuating 15 workers trapped in a flooded coal mine for over two weeks were raised on Friday with the impending arrival a diving team of the Navy along with specialised equipment, including high-pressure pumps.

The Indian Air Force also provided two aircraft to the Meghalaya government for airlifting specialist personnel of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) from Odisha for helping in the rescue operations. The Defence Ministry has said it is prepared to provide any help to the state government.

 Meghalaya mine tragedy: Hope for survival of trapped miners rises as team of Indian Navy divers leaves for rescue operation

Efforts are underway to rescue the trapped miners. 101 Reporters

The 15 miners have been trapped in a 370-feet deep illegal mine in Lumthari village here since December 13, when water from the nearby River Lytein flooded the mine. A 15-member diving team of the Navy from Vishakhapatnam is expected to reach the site in Meghalaya on Saturday. The team will have specialised diving equipment including a re-compression chamber and remotely operated vehicles capable of searching underwater. "The situation is hopeful, the high-pressure pumps are arriving on site, I don't want to comment on when they will arrive, but I am hopeful," Assistant Commandant Santosh Kumar Singh from the 1st Battalion of NDRF told ANI on Friday. "The earlier pumps were not working well, so as soon as the pumps arrive, we are hopeful the water level will recede and we will further operate," he added.

He said a team of divers dived into the flooded coal mine to gauge the water level which has not changed since Thursday. He said his team have not found any sign of the trapped miners yet. Singh said he was not aware of any other teams or agencies will join the rescue operation, adding that a few senior officials from Coal India had come to the site earlier on Friday and assessed the situation. "The state had called them, they will send their report to the state soon," Singh said.

Updated Date: Dec 28, 2018 23:38:29 IST