The Indian Navy on Sunday joined operations to rescue five miners trapped for 14 days in an illegal coal mine in Meghalaya.
In 2018, the Navy was able to pull out three bodies from a flooded mine in Meghalaya using a sophisticated machine, PTI reported.
At least five people have been identified by the district administration belonging from Assam who got stuck somewhere inside the rat-hole mine at Umpleng after it was flooded following a dynamite explosion on May 30.
Six co-workers of the trapped miners escaped the tragedy as they were outside the mine at the time of the incident and they have been escorted to their homes in Assam.
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The water level in the mine at Umpleng in East Jaintia Hills district, which was decreasing for the past few days due to dewatering exercise, has gone up again following rain affecting rescue operation, PTI reported.
Armed with remotely operated vehicles (ROV) and handheld sonar, the team of Navy personnel arrived at Khliehriat, the district headquarters, on Saturday night and have built camps at the accident site.
During the day, the Navy personnel completed an exercise to ascertain the depth of the water level inside the mine, district deputy commissioner E Kharmalki said.
The Indian Navy personnel will use their ROV on Monday to explore the depth of the cave, the official said.
Around 60 personnel of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and various state agencies are waiting for the water level to come down to about 10 meters in the 152-metre deep pit, as that is the maximum level in which they can work.
Hazardous rat-hole coal mining is not permitted in Meghalaya after the National Green Tribunal (NGT) banned it in 2014.