Meghalaya mine tragedy: Army joins search operations to find missing miners

Written By: Pooja Mehta WION
East Jaintia Hills, Meghalaya, India Updated: Jan 29, 2019, 12:39 PM(IST)

File photo of the Meghalaya mine rescue in progress. Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

On December 13, as many as 15 miners were trapped inside the 370-feet deep rat-hole mine after water from the nearby Lytein river flooded it.

Two days after the Indian Navy’s underwater remotely operated vehicle (UROV) spotted the body of a second miner at 280ft inside the rat hole mine in Meghalaya’s East Jaintia Hills district, a platoon of the army was deployed in the search operations on Tuesday.

“The army is setting up a camp near the site to assist Navy in miners rescue operations. This is only administrative support to Navy for efficient, smooth and round the clock operations in case need be,” said an official involved in the search operations.

Sources reveal that Army will not be directly involved in conducting the search operations but will only provide logistical and administrative support to the Indian Navy, Odisha Fire Services Department officials and NDRF who are primarily conducting the search operations.

This decision comes in the wake of the Indian Navy’s ROV (remotely operated vehicle) spotting the body of a second miner on January 26, however, the body could not be retrieved despite efforts in the last two days.

Today, the Indian Navy and other agencies will begin search operations again with the help of Army at the site. 

The first body of a miner was retrieved 42 days after they were trapped inside the mine. 

On December 13, as many as 15 miners were trapped inside the 370-feet deep rat-hole mine after water from the nearby Lytein river flooded it.

Indian Navy, NDRF, Odisha Fire Services Department and Meghalaya government’s disaster management group were pressed into the rescue operations. 

However, it took a month for the high powered pumps from Coal India and Kirloskar Brothers to arrive at the spot and engage in the rescue operations.

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