Meghalaya mining tragedy: Navy sends five ROVs to survey nearby abandoned coal mines

As of Tuesday, two out of four mines that may be connected with the main shaft have been sanitised and the unmanned remotely operated vehicles (ROV) explorations were also undertaken at night.

Published: 08th January 2019 09:19 PM  |   Last Updated: 08th January 2019 09:19 PM   |  A+A-

Meghalaya Mine

The mine in Meghalaya where 15 miners are still trapped. (File Photo | PTI)

By PTI

SHILLONG: The Indian Navy Tuesday augmented five more unmanned remotely operated vehicles to survey the nearby abandoned mines and ascertain if they are linked with the main shaft, where the 15 miners got trapped on December 13 last.

As of Tuesday, two out of four mines that may be connected with the main shaft have been sanitised and the unmanned remotely operated vehicles (ROV) explorations were also undertaken at night, operation spokesperson R Susngi said.

The ROV exploration, however, could not be continued as the diameter of the rat-holes inside the shafts are too small and further exploration will continue as and when feasible, Susngi said.

On Monday, the Navy had sent a ROV down the 370-feet-deep main shaft to determine visibility at the base of the shaft, but it got stuck.

ALSO READ: Two miners found dead in another coal mine tragedy in Meghalaya

This unmanned vehicle was put into service Monday to determine the visibility deep down at the bottom of the mine shaft and in case if there was any sign of the trapped diggers.

Coal India Ltd, which ran their pump in the abandoned mine Tuesday for 8 hours, drained nearly 11 lakh litres of water, while the Odisha Fire Service pumped out 5.

4 lakh litres respectively using two pumps in another adjacent abandoned shaft.

East Jaintia Hills district Deputy Commissioner F M Dopth, who is also the chairman of the district disaster management authority, informed the state government that it might take 30 days or up to two months to pump out the water from about 20 shafts in the area.

Based on the expertise of the local coal miners and endorsed by experts from the North Eastern Coal Fields, Dopth quoted Rs 4.61 crore as the amount required for procurement of materials and manpower to pump the water out of the mines.

Tuesday was the 27th day of the Meghalaya mine disaster which also had drawn the attention of the Supreme Court.

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