Shillong, January 21: Informing the Supreme Court on the latest development on rescue operation, Meghalaya government asserts that the state would not abandon the mission and continue their efforts. Almost more than a month, 15 miners are trapped inside an illegal rat-hole mine in Meghalaya’s East Jaintia Hills and the rescue mission continues in full swing.
The operation to rescue the miners is carried on with enormous efforts by multi-agency operation, which includes NDRF officials, Odisha Fire Department, Indian Navy and other experts are involved in the rescue operations. A team of Indian divers, last week, had spotted the body of one of the 15 miners.
The navy had suspended operations to retrieve the body. The body was detected at a depth of 160 feet and at a lateral distance of 210 feet in a rat-hole tunnel with the help of footage from an underwater remotely operated vehicle (ROV).
Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma said the retrieval is difficult because of two reasons – the Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) which detected it cannot pull it out because the body is too heavy for it and it is not possible for rescue divers to go inside the mine because of the water level. Also, Sangma said the body was decomposing. “The body is soft. Every time they are trying to pull it’s coming off some pieces.”
However, the families of the trapped miners have been informed about the happenings and are called to identify the body. More than 200 rescuers from the NDRF, the Odisha Fire Service, Navy, State Disaster Response Fund, state Fire service, and others are involved in the rescue operations.
Five miners managed to escape after the mine flooded and alerted the people about the tragedy at Ksan village, about 130 km from Shillong.