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LIVE BLOG

Rescue operation in Meghalaya LIVE: ‘Water level same as yesterday,’ says NDRF official

Meghalaya miners rescue LIVE updates: The Meghalaya government has said it will not call off the rescue operation to evacuate the 15 miners trapped inside a coal pit for the last 15 days.

By HT Correspondent | Dec 28, 2018 19:38 IST
highlights

An assessment team from Kirloskar Pumps (KBL) in Kolkata arrived at the remote site of the accident on Thursday evening at the behest of Congress MP Shashi Tharoor, whose party is in the opposition in Meghalaya.15 miners are trapped in the flooded rat-hole Ksan coal mines in East Jaintia Hills district since December 13.

The Meghalaya government has said it will not call off the rescue operation to evacuate the 15 miners trapped inside a coal pit for the last 15 days in the remote Ksan mining area in East Jaintia Hills district.

Chief Minister Conrad Sangma said Coal India Limited and Kirloskar Brothers’ Limited have offered their support to draw out the water from the 370-ft coal pit so that the rescuers can locate the trapped miners.

Here are the live updates:

7:36 pm IST

Water level same as yesterday: NDRF official on Meghalaya rescue op

“Operations to rescue 13 trapped miners underway in Khelerihaat for the 17th day. SK Singh, Asst Commandant NDRF, says, “Even today our divers went down. The water level is the same as yesterday.”

6:32 pm IST

Indian Navy divers to arrive at remote site of accident tomorrow

Indian Navy is deploying a 15-member diving team from Visakhapatnam to assist in the resccue operations for the trapped miners in Meghalaya. The team is carrying specialised diving equipment including a re-compression chamber and remotely operated vehicles capable of searching underwater. The team is expected to arrive on the site on Saturday. An initial assessment to determine an effective response was undertaken by the navy today.

5:39 pm IST

Indian Navy divers airlifted to join rescue operation in Meghalaya

Indian Navy divers are being airlifted from Vishakhapatnam to join operations to rescue trapped Meghalaya miners.

15 miners are trapped in the flooded rat-hole Ksan coal mines in East Jaintia Hills district since December 13.

3:16 pm IST

Fire services team has approximately another 200 km to go by road

The fire services team has approximately another 200 km to go by road through hilly terrain before they reach the site of accident.

3:05 pm IST

This isn’t the first accident involving an illegal mine in the state

This isn’t the first accident involving an illegal mine in the state. In February 2014, four miners were killed when the walls of an illegal mine collapsed in Garo Hills. In December 2013, five miners died when the cable of the contraption which was carrying them down to an illegal mine in Jaintia Hills broke. In July 2012, 15 miners drowned in an illegal mine in Garo Hills when an underground stream flowing near the mine flooded it.

2:39 pm IST

Meghalaya government has been under attack for tardy rescue operation

The Meghalaya government has been under attack for the tardy rescue operation in the Saipung area of the northeastern state.

2:24 pm IST

Odisha fire department team has landed in Guwahati

The Odisha fire department team has landed in Guwahati. They are yet to proceed to Meghalaya. They will be travelling on trucks to the spot.

2:11 pm IST

Rescue teams said a foul smell from the water was reported on Wednesday

Rescue teams at the site said that a foul smell emanating from the water on Wednesday reported by one of the divers was in all likelihood because of stagnation when the operation was suspended on Christmas Day.

2:00 pm IST

Request for 10 pumps was made by the district administration

A request for 10 pumps of 100 HP, survey teams to detect seepage and other assistance from state-owned Coal India was made by the district administration in a letter to the state government on December 20, but the corporation received the communication for assistance from Shillong only on December 26.

1:56 pm IST

Efforts to pump out water from the mine stopped on Monday

The efforts to pump out water from the mine stopped on Monday as the available machines were ineffective and stronger ones were needed.

1:48 pm IST

Rescue officials in Meghalaya have recovered so far three helmets

The rescue officials in Meghalaya have recovered so far three helmets.

1:37 pm IST

This is the first time fire services team would test their skills in a coal mine filled with water

This is the first time that the fire services team would test their skills in a coal mine filled with water. The fire services department has taken part in rescue operations in others states in the past as well.

1:18 pm IST

Odisha team couldn’t leave for Meghalaya as Shillong airport doesn’t have night landing facilities

With time running out for the miners, the Odisha team could have left on Thursday evening but could not as the Shillong airport does not have night landing facilities.

1:12 pm IST

The team will study and analyse the situation first

The team will first study and analyse the situation at the site before working out plans for the search and rescue mission, the official said, reports PTI.

1:05 pm IST

Fire services personnel are armed with high-tech equipment for rescue mission

The fire services personnel are armed with several high-tech equipment and gadgets for use during the rescue mission, reports PTI.

12:59 pm IST

It will take 2-3 days to retrieve the bodies: Shillong MP Vincent H Pala

Vincent H Pala says, “Earlier the central government did not take seriously in sending the pumps, I hope with the new pumps coming they will be able to pump water, it will take minimum 2-3 days then we will be able to retrieve the bodies,” reports news agency ANI.

12:54 pm IST

I’m very sure most people have died: Congress’ Shillong MP Vincent H Pala

Congress’ Shillong MP Vincent H Pala says,”I’m very sure most people have died, I came to know from local people that there is no chance of people there, those who survive, they run away since the mining was illegal,” reports news agency ANI.

12:39 pm IST

Relatives of trapped miners are expecting a miracle to occur

The relatives of the trapped miners are losing hope and are expecting a miracle to occur.

12:34 pm IST

District administration has temporarily suspended pumping of water from coal pit

The district administration has temporarily suspended pumping of water from the coal pit since December 24. However, the NDRF rescuers team dived inside the main shaft of the coal pit but could not locate any of the miners.

12:29 pm IST

C-130J Super Hercules tasked to airlift NDRF rescuers from Bhubaneswar to Guwahati

Indian Air Force (IAF) Spokesman Wing Commander Ratnakar Singh said a C-130J Super Hercules has been tasked to airlift NDRF rescuers from Bhubaneswar to Guwahati on Friday.

12:20 pm IST

Coal India Limited officials have rushed to the site

Coal India Limited (CIL) officials have rushed to the site in remote Ksan area in East Jaintia Hills district. A two-member team from Kirloskar Brothers’ Limited has already reached the site, reports news agency IANS.

12:15 pm IST

NDRF team rushed to Meghalaya for assistance

The Central government on Friday rushed an additional National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) team to Meghalaya to assist the state in evacuating 15 miners who are trapped inside an illegal coal mine for 16 days now.

12:08 pm IST

The team left for Shillong on Friday morning in a special aircraft

Director general of fire service and commandant general, home guards and director civil defence BK Sharma said the team led by chief fire officer Sukanta Sethi left for Shillong on Friday morning in a special aircraft of the Indian Air Force with 20 high-power pumps.

11:56 am IST

Union ministry of home affairs has sought Odisha Fire Services’ help

The Union ministry of home affairs on Thursday sought the help of Odisha Fire Services for sending its team of experienced professionals.

11:51 am IST

21 member team of Odisha fire services will reach Meghalaya today

A 21-member team of Odisha Fire Services will reach Meghalaya on Friday with high-powered dewatering pumps to assist local authorities in a fresh attempt to rescue the 15 miners