Rescuers works on as 15 miners were trapped inside a coal pit filled with gallons of water in Meghalaya’s East Jaintia Hills district on December 14, 2018. (IANS photo)
The mega rescue operation to save 15 miners trapped inside 370-feet-deep coal pit in Meghalaya is gaining some momentum. After the Indian Air Force and Coal India teams, the Indian Navy is also sending its special diving unit to assist the rescuers. According to the navy officials, the team is expected to reach the site today. ‘Indian Navy is deploying a 15-member diving team from Visakhapatnam two assist in rescue ops for missing miners in Meghalaya. The team is carrying special diving equipment including a re-compression chamber and remotely operated vehicles capable of searching underwater,’ the Navy said on Twitter. It should be noted that its only now that the Navy has been called in. On Friday, the Navy officials had done ‘an initial assessment to determine an effective response.’
On Friday, 20 pumps were flown in by the Indian Air Force. As per latest reports, the rescuers from the Air Force and the Coal India are now on their way travelling 200 km to the exact spot to save the miners trapped for a fortnight. Superintendent of Police Sylvester Mongtynger said two teams from Kirloskar Brothers Ltd also arrived on Thursday to help in rescuing the miners trapped in the 370-foot-deep illegal mine. "We are deeply concerned about the trapped miners in Meghalaya and are ready to help in whichever way possible. We are in touch with the officials of the Government of Meghalaya to offer our assistance in this regard," Kirloskar Brothers Ltd said in a statement late Wednesday night.
Meanwhile, the NDRF battalion based in Guwahati, which is carrying out the rescue operation, said the statement of its Assistant Commandant Santosh Kumar Singh on "foul smell" had been "misinterpreted and he was misquoted as saying that foul odour could indicate that the miners were dead and the bodies are beginning to decompose." The NDRF explained the foul smell could be of the stagnant water. "The fact is that the pumping process has been halted for more than 48 hours. The foul smell detected by the divers may be due to stagnant water. The same has been misinterpreted and newspapers quoted it saying the odour could indicate the miners are dead and bodies are beginning to decompose," the statement issued by Commandant of Guwahati-based NDRF Battalion S K Shastri said.
(With PTI inputs)