After two weeks of work by National Disaster Response Force did not yield any result in rescue of 15 workers trapped in a flooded rat-hole mine in East Jaintia Hills in Meghalaya, the Navy and IAF joined the ongoing rescue operation.
The Navy has deployed 15-member diving team to assit in the rescue operations and the divers has been airlifted from the Vishakhapatnam, will airlifted from the AN-32 to Meghalaya on Saturday. Also initial assessment of the situation has been taken by the Indian Navy.
The Navy team carrying specialized diving equipment including a re-compression chamber and remotely operated vehicles capable of searching underwater.
Indian Air Force planes are carrying high-power pumps and NDRF personal took off from Odisha to help rescue efforts. Also onboard the plane is the Odisha Fire Services team. The Lockheed Martin C-130J Super Hercules planes will land in Guwahati, from where the powerful pumps will be taken to Meghalaya’s East Jaintia Hills.
The workers were trapped in the ‘rat-hole’mine on December 13, after water from the nearby Lytein river gushed into it. Low capacity pumps used by NDRF were unable to draw water from the collapsed mine as the water from an adjacent abandoned mine and a near by river kept flooding the rat-hole mine.
The IAF team Is carrying at least 20-high power pumps, apart from other high-tech equipment and gadgets. Each pump is capable of flushing out 1,600-litre water per minute. The team will first study and analyse the site before working out plans for the search and rescue mission.
Labourers, mainly from neighboring Assam and from Nepal, are engaged in illegal extraction of coal through unscientific mining which is carried out without safety measures and poses a danger both to human life and environment.