Shillong, January 30: Rigorous efforts to rescue miners trapped in Meghalaya coal mine, a platoon of soldiers on Monday joined the search and rescue operations in Meghalaya where the fate of 13 miners remains unknown inside an illegal 370 feet deep coal mine in East Jaintia Hills district.
An Army team of 20 to 25 personnel has been deployed to assist Navy operations in the mine. The Defence Ministry official informed that this is only administrative support to the Navy in case need be, for efficient, smooth and round-the-clock operations. He said that the soldiers will provide logistical support to the Navy.
Indian Navy divers couldn't retrieve the body of another miner, which was detected on Saturday by an underwater remotely operated vehicle (UROV) inside a rat-hole coal mine at Ksan village as the UROV got "badly entangled" with the second wooden cart inside the mine.
A 15-member team of Navy divers from Visakhapatnam detected the second body with the help of the UROV inside the rat-hole coal mine but through a complex maize of sub rat-hole mines. Of the 15 miners trapped inside the coal mine since December 13, only one body of miner from Chirang district was recovered and handed over to his family members on Saturday.
The accident inside the mine was of significance because the National Green Tribunal (NGT) had ordered an interim ban on a "rat-hole" coal mining in the state from April 17, 2014. The tragedy came to light after five miners escaped the coal pit.
The Supreme Court had on Monday told the Centre and the Meghalaya government to continue rescue operations in the mine, even though the state told the bench that the trapped miners may have died.