Meghalaya mine mishap: NDRF says high level of water in pit hampering rescue operations

National Disaster Response Force divers made yet another attempt on Friday but did not get any success. 

Published: 28th December 2018 07:12 PM  |   Last Updated: 28th December 2018 07:13 PM   |  A+A-

Meghalaya mine

Rescuers work at the site of a coal mine that collapsed in Ksan, in the northeastern Indian state of Meghalaya.(Photo | AP)

Express News Service

GUWAHATI: The presence of 70 to 80 feet of water is hampering the search and rescue operations in Meghalaya’s East Jaintia Hills where at least 15 miners have been trapped in a coal mine since December 13. National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) divers made yet another attempt on Friday but did not get any success. 

It was learnt that a 20-member team of the Odisha Fire Services, headed by the chief fire service officer, reached Meghalaya capital Shillong. The team is equipped with high pressure pumps to drain out water from the rat-hole mine.

On Thursday, a team of the Kirloskar Brothers Ltd had visited the site for an assessment. The company said it was in touch with the state government and was ready to help in whichever way possible. A team of senior officials of the Coal India also visited the site.

As the pressure pumps used earlier did not come of any help, the state government had on December 24 taken a decision to suspend the operation to drain out water with these pumps and contacted several agencies for high-power pumps.

Currently, two full-fledged teams of the NDRF comprising 71 personnel, a 22-member team of the State Disaster Response Force and the local administration were engaged in the rescue operations.

“The high level of water in the pit is acting as a hindrance in the search and rescue operations. So, either the water has to recede or it has to be pumped out,” NDRF officer SK Singh, who is commanding the operations, said.

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