Meghalaya: Indian Air Force joins mine rescue operation, 20 high-power pumps to be used

The team carried at least 20 high-power pumps, each pump is capable of flushing out 1,600-litre water per minute.

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

15 miners trapped in a 370-foot-deep illegal coal mine in Meghalaya

15 miners have been trapped in a 370-foot-deep illegal coal mine in the Ksan area of Lumthari village in Meghalaya since December 13. 

The illegal mine is reported to have been flooded, leaving bleak chances of miners' survival.

Rescue team to clear water in the area first

Rescue teams have to first clear the water in the area before proceeding with the operation in the vertical mine shaft.

Shaft mining, which includes digging vertical tunnels into the ground, were outlawed in 2014 by the National Green Tribunal in Meghalaya.

Mine is an old, illegal so-called rat-hole mine, common in Meghalaya

A team of about 100 National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) experts have been camping at the mine site but their operations have been hampered by lack of sophisticated equipment, SK Shastri, NDRF commandant leading the operations, said.

The mine is an old, illegal so-called rat-hole mine, common in Meghalaya but dangerous as the coal is pulled out from narrow, horizontal seams.

Air Force's Lockheed C-130 Hercules took off from Bhubaneswar

The Indian Air Force on Friday ordered one of its military transport aircraft to carry high-power pumps from Odisha for the aid of 15 miners who are trapped in a rat-hole mine in Meghalaya.

Air Force's Lockheed C-130 Hercules took off from Bhubaneswar earlier in the day to reach Guwahati, Assam. 

The equipment will be taken to Meghalaya where the miners have been stuck for over two weeks.

Chances of survival very low

National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) spokesperson Anil Shekhawat said, ''The situation is very, very difficult, so (chances of) survival is also very, very, low depending on the situation because all the area is flooded.''

A family member holds a picture of one of the trapped person in the mine.