Meghalaya miners rescue LIVE updates: Divers reach bottom of the main pit of flooded mine
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Meghalaya miners rescue LIVE updates: Divers reach bottom of the main pit of flooded mine

Meghalaya miners rescue LIVE updates: One comprising divers from Indian Navy and another from the Odisha fire services—reached the flooded coal mine in Meghalaya on Saturday.

By Sadiq Naqvi and David Laitphlang | Dec 30, 2018 18:58 IST

Divers from the Indian Navy have entered the main pit of the flooded Ksan mine in Meghalaya’s East Jaintia Hills Sunday, where 15 miners have been trapped since December 13.

Santosh Kumar Singh of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) told HT at the site that if divers manage to get to the bottom of the pit and find the number of lateral rat-holes there, it will be a major breakthrough.

After delays, two teams of rescuers—one comprising divers from Indian Navy and another from the Odisha fire services—reached the flooded coal mine in Meghalaya on Saturday. But except conducting recce at the site located at Khloo Ryngksan in East Jaintia Hills district and attempts to set up the high-powered pumps needed to flush out water nothing much happened during the day. The actual work on the ground began Sunday.

Here are the live updates:

5:00 pm IST

Pumps have arrived but generators haven’t, says engineer

4:56 pm IST

Divers reach bottom of the pit for the first time

Divers from the Indian Navy have entered the main pit of the flooded Ksan mine in Meghalaya’s East Jaintia Hills,.

Santosh Kumar Singh of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) told HT at the site that if divers manage to get to the bottom of the pit and find the number of lateral rat-holes there, it will be a major breakthrough.

“After the initial two days, we figured out that the water level was not going down and we could not go beyond 30 feet of the 70 feet of water. So if Navy divers get details of the bottom of the pit and the number of rat-holes, that will be very useful for the operation.”

4:00 pm IST

Indian Navy diver, NDRF personnel enter mine shaft

A team leader from the Indian Navy and NDRF personnel went inside a 370-foot-deep mine.

The Navy divers and their equipment arrived at the site around 1.30 pm Sunday after which the Navy personnel started measuring the actual level of the water in the mine shaft. The 10 pumps brought by the rescue team from Odisha have been kept on standby. Meanwhile, the divers have also been kept on standby, the officials said.

2:35 pm IST

The rat holes are said to be at the bottom of the 350 feet main pit

The rat holes are said to be at the bottom of the 350 feet main pit which was earlier filled with about 70 feet water.

2:30 pm IST

A 18 member navy team has come with equipment

A navy diver at the rescue site who wishes to remain anonymous said the 18 member navy team has come equipped with diving sets, remotely operated vehicles, re compression chambers among other equipment. “In these conditions we can dive up to 45 meters but it will be dangerous for us to get into rat holes at the bottom for sharp edges could damage diving suites, air pipes and put in danger the life of the diver,” he said. As a first step, a boat has been lowered into the shaft. The navy personnel has put a 60 metre iron rope inside to measure the depth of the water, according to this navy diver.

A 18 member navy team has come with equipment (HT Photo)

2:27 pm IST

Rescue operations have resumed

Rescue operations have resumed. All 10 pumps have been put in place. Navy divers are suiting up to go in.

1:42 pm IST

Diving equipment to be brought to the site soon

The IAF helicopter transporting sophisticated diving equipment of the Navy landed at a football ground here. The machines are to be shortly transported to the accident site, 37 km from here, Superintendent of Police (SP) Sylvester Nongtynger told PTI.

1:35 pm IST

Pumps can’t be started before navy team dives: Odisha fire service officer Sukanta Sethi

Odisha fire service officer Sukanta Sethi said pumps cannot be started before navy team dives because the pump may fill the pit with smoke. Once the divers come out, one pump will be lowered inside and two others on the surface.

1:18 pm IST

It’s a very challenging and difficult operation:Station Officer

Administration officials saying its a Sunday, fewer people are available. It’s a very challenging and difficult operation says Tapan Kumar Mohanty.

1:16 pm IST

Odisha fire service demand carriage to help lower pump into the pit

Tapan Kumar Mohanty, station officer says Odisha fire service have demanded a carriage from the district administration to help lower their pump inside the pit. The pump can work up to 21 feet above water and is not submersible. The carriage hasn’t been arranged yet.

12:51 pm IST

Pumps haven’t started operating yet

The water pumps have not yet started pumping out water as thee divers haven’t entered the pit.

Water pumps have not started pumping out water yet. (HT Photo)

12:41 pm IST

NDRF trying to lower a boat inside the pit to use it as a platform for diving

NDRF is trying to lower a boat inside the pit. The navy divers will use it as a platform for diving.

NDRF trying to lower a boat inside the pit to use it as a platform for diving (HT Photo)

12:21 pm IST

Navy divers launch operation to rescue 15 miners

Navy divers on Sunday launched an operation to find 15 men trapped for more than two weeks in a flooded “rat-hole” coal mine in remote northeast India, police said, reports Agence France Presse.

11:00 am IST

A three-member team of Indian Navy visited the site yesterday: NDRF

National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) Assistant Commandant Santosh Kumar Singh, who is overseeing operations at the rat hole coal mine. said a three-member team of the Indian Navy visited the site.

10:21 am IST

Neither Odisha nor Navy teams have arrived at the spot yet: NDRF

“Neither Odisha nor Navy teams have arrived at the spot yet,” National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) Assistant Commandant Santosh Kumar Singh told Hindustan Times.