Meghalaya Mine Tragedy: Navy spots one body 33 days after collapse

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New Delhi | Published: January 17, 2019 12:44:23 PM

On December 13, 2018, 15 workers were trapped in an illegal coal mine in Meghalaya's East Jaintia Hills district after it got flooded from the adjacent river and collapsed.

Over a month after the collapse of an illegal mine in Meghalaya’s East Jaintia Hills district left 15 miners trapped, the Indian Navy on Thursday spotted the body of one of the trapped miners.

The divers spotted the body using remotely operated vehicles, used for searching objects underwater and have now managed to bring the body to the mouth of the rat-hole mine. The body will be retrieved with doctors present.

Spokesperson of the Indian Navy at IHQ /Twitter
Spokesperson of the Indian Navy at IHQ /Twitter

On December 13, 2018, 15 workers were trapped in an illegal coal mine in Meghalaya’s East Jaintia Hills district after it got flooded from the adjacent river and collapsed.

It is puzzling that despite pumping out several liters of water with effective high-power from pumps, the water-level inside the 350-feet deep mine remains same. The Odisha Fire Rescue team had brought ten 63 Horsepower pumps which were made operational in the rough area with much difficulty, reports say.

The Underwater Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) which are used by the Indian Navy also got stuck inside the mine many times.

Multiple agencies came together for the rescue operation which started on the 16th day of the mine tragedy that trapped 15 workers; the body was located on the 20th day of the rescue operation.

Family members of the trapped miners are anxiously waiting for news and some who have been visiting the site every day are even helping in the rescue operation, say reports. Sources said the few survivors who managed to escape the mine gave vital clues in making out the location of the miners.

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The NDRF, SDRF and civil administration were the first ones to jump start the rescue operation a day after the incident happened. However, lack of resources and heavy duty pumps impeded the rescue work after a few days.

The NDRF made sure that no person was trapped in the main shaft of the mine although it was impossible for the Navy and NDRF divers to go to that depth without a decrease in the water level in the mine to a minimum 30 meters.

Lack of a map or blueprint of the mine proved further problems for the rescue agencies with the greatest difficulty being the untraceable location of the miners inside an unregulated mine.

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