Rescuers from the IAF and Coal India reached the 370-foot-deep illegal mine in East Jaintia Hills district today and they will be aided by two teams from Kirloskar Brothers Ltd, a pipe company.
Reportedly, the miners started work on the illegal mine on December 11, and got trapped on December 13 when water from the Lytein river gushed in and flooded the mine. "So, either the water has to recede or it has to be pumped out", NDRF officer SK Singh, who is commanding the operations, said.
Bhubaneswar: An Indian Air Force transport carrier "C-130J Super Hercules" with 20 Odisha Fire Services personnel onboard have left for Shillong from Bhubaneswar on Friday morning to rescue the trapped miners in Meghalaya.
"The efforts are on and nobody expected this to happen", Conrad Sangma, Meghalaya's chief minister, told reporters yesterday.
According to a report by news agency PTI, the exercise will resume once more powerful pumps are made available to district authorities. His government refuses to organise high pressure pumps for the rescue. "PM please save the miners", Gandhi tweeted, referring to the inauguration of the Bogibeel bridge in Assam on Tuesday.
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Senior officials said water from an adjacent abandoned mine and a nearby river kept flooding the mine, making it unsafe for their divers to carry out searches in water.
National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) on Thursday contradicted media reports which quoted it as saying the trapped minors were suspected dead on the basis of the "foul odour" the force's divers had smelt when they had gone inside the mine.
He said two teams of NDRF are engaged in the search and rescue operation. After reaching the bottom of the pit, they entered horizontal manholes, often termed as "rat-holes", as each just about fits one person. We are in touch with the officials of the Government of Meghalaya to offer our assistance in this regard.
Meanwhile, two teams from heavy pump-makers Kirloskar Brothers are at the site of the rescue conducting a survey to find out if they can assist rescue efforts in any way.
There's now about 70 feet of water in the shaft, officials said.