GUWAHATI: The rescuers on Tuesday began pumping out water from the 380-ft deep flooded rat-hole coalmine in East Jaintia Hills of Meghalaya where at least 15 miners have remained trapped since December 13 and are feared dead.
Despite three hours of pumping by the Odisha Fire Service, there was no change in the level of water at the main shaft.
“The Odisha Fire Service has stopped pumping out water from the old shaft which lies a few yards below the main shaft. After three hours of pumping, the water in the old shaft was found to have descended upto six inches. The Indian Navy divers along with the NDRF (National Disaster Response Force) went down inside the main shaft at 4:30 pm to check the water level there and reported that it has not changed. The Odisha Fire Service will continue dewatering. It is expected that after eight hours of pumping, the water level can be determined,” official sources said.
The dewatering process had begun following the procurement of cable, box and accessories etc by the district authorities and the installation of pumps inside the pit.
Meanwhile, the authorities released the names of the trapped miners. They are Omor Ali, Mezamur Islam, Mominul Islam, Shirapat Ali, Mozid SK, Raziul Islam, Abdul Kalam (all from West Garo Hills of Meghalaya), Chal Dkhar, Long Dkhar, Nilam Dkhar (all from East Jaintia Hills), Amir Hussain, Monirul Islam, Chaher Islam (all from Chirang district of Assam), Md Samsul Haque of Assam’s Nalbari district and Assh Bahadur Limbu of Assam’s Karbi Anglong district.
At least 20 miners had entered the coalmine on December 13. Later, five managed to escape the flood inside the pit. Saheb Ali, who is among the five survivors, claimed 22 miners, not 20, entered the mine that day. He said the trapped miners should be dead by now.