Meghalaya trapped miners: Navy divers to search for survivors again

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Navy divers who went down into the mine on Sunday will descend again into the flooded rat holes, to look for the 15 trapped miners in Meghalaya East Jaintia Hills for the last 18 days.

A joint team of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), the Navy and the Odisha Fire Service are still on a rescue operation.

On Sunday, they lowered an inflatable boat into the shaft to check for possibility of diving deeper. The NDRF has said its divers can operate safely up to 40 feet of water.

The Odisha Fire Service also tested their machines and prepared to move their pumps to the other abandoned shafts for pumping out water. The local power department brought generators to drive the pumps.

The Navy divers who went inside the mine at 3 pm and came out at 6 pm reported that the shaft was too deep and dark, and the water level was at 150 feet, officials said. They could dive only till 90 feet.

They requested to fix more halogen bulbs inside the shaft for better visibility.

All the three teams of Navy, NDRF and OFS are coordinating the operation today. While water is being pumped out, the Navy personnel will use powerful equipment to dive their way deep into the mine.

Tools like gas-cutting machines and recovery vans have been brought at the site.

Coal India Ltd is unable to start rescue operations as its team needs sophisticated material not available in Shillong and has requested its head office for the materials.

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