Navy to join rescue operations to save trapped miners in Meghalaya

Shillong: A 15-member diving team of the Indian Navy will join the rescue operations on Saturday to evacuate 15 miners, who are trapped inside an illegal coal mine for 16 days now in Meghalaya. Defence spokesperson, Wing Commander Ratnakar Singh, said that the diving team from Visakhapatnam will assist in the rescue operations for the miners trapped inside the 370-feet coal pit in Ksan village of Meghalaya’s East Jaintia Hills district.

He said the team will be carrying special diving equipment, including a re-compression chamber and remotely operated vehicles capable of searching underwater.

“An initial assessment to determine an effective response was undertaken by the Indian Navy on Friday,” Singh said.

The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has used sonar system and underwater camera to detect the trapped miners. However, the system failed to locate any of those trapped in the main well due to poor visibility.

Incidentally, the National Green Trubunal (NGT) had ordered an interim ban on “rat-hole” coal mining in the state from April 17, 2014.