Meghalaya mine: Rescue suspended due to rains, flood

On December 13, as many as 15 workers got trapped in the “rat-hole” mine at Khloo Ryngksan village in East Jaintia Hills district after water from the nearby Lytein river gushed into it.
In this file photo taken on December 29, 2018, Indian National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) personnel gather around a crane as Indian Navy divers are lifted with a pulley during rescue operations to help 15 miners trapped by flooding in an illegal coal mine in Ksan village in Meghalaya's East Jaintia Hills district.(AFP/ File photo)
In this file photo taken on December 29, 2018, Indian National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) personnel gather around a crane as Indian Navy divers are lifted with a pulley during rescue operations to help 15 miners trapped by flooding in an illegal coal mine in Ksan village in Meghalaya's East Jaintia Hills district.(AFP/ File photo)
Published on Jun 08, 2019 12:24 AM IST
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Hindustan Times, Shillong | ByDavid Laitphlang

The operation to trace at least a dozen workers trapped in an illegal coal mine in Meghalaya, which began almost six months ago, has been suspended because of incessant rain, officials said on Friday.

On December 13, as many as 15 workers got trapped in the “rat-hole” mine at Khloo Ryngksan village in East Jaintia Hills district after water from the nearby Lytein river gushed into it.

Rescue teams comprising personnel from the National Disaster Relief Force, State Disaster Relief Force, Indian Navy, state police among others could locate only three bodies, of which two have been extracted so far. Now, the incessant rain has flooded the mine posing a fresh challenge to the team.

“The water level has risen by 8 feet and all the generator sets, pumps, pipes and other materials are submerged,” FM Dopth, deputy commissioner, East Jaintia Hills district, said . “Even material belonging to the Army is submerged in water... with the monsoon setting in, it’ll probably be only in winter when the water level subsides that we can retrieve the equipment,” he said.

At least 10 pumps varying from 25 to 82 horse power capacity, an underwater remotely operated vehicle of the Navy, a ground penetrating radar belonging to National Geophysical Research Institute, among a variety of equipment have been pressed into service in the past few months.

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