Meghalaya Government has approached the Central Government, asking for help in retrieving the miners trapped in a coal mine in East Jaintia Hills (EJH) district for the last five days.
“I have spoken to Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju and I had requested him to send in more professional teams and the best equipment that they have. He had taken it up and people from all over have come to help rescue the miners,” Chief Minister Conrad Sangma informed here on Monday.
At least 13 miners were trapped in a mine at the Ksan area of Lumthari village when water from the Lytein river near the mine found its way into the caverns on December 13 last.
Conrad informed that the rescue teams are trying their best but the situation is very difficult as they cannot stem the flow of water regardless of how many pumps are pressed into action thereby making any attempts to rescue the miners impossible.
He, however, assured that the government will engage whoever it takes and will try its best to save the lives of the people who are trapped inside the mine.
Rescue teams from the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) and local police on Monday continued with their efforts to locate the 13 miners.
Despite using sonar system and underwater cameras in a bid to locate the 13 miners, the rescue teams have failed to find any of the trapped miners due to poor visibility.
With the pumps not making any headway in reducing the volume of water in the mine, the NDRF officials have suggested that the district administration of East Jaintia Hills call in the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) to deploy submersible water pumps to reduce the water level.
Meanwhile, Superintendent of Police (SP), EJH district, Silvester Nongtyngnger informed that one more person is missing in connection with the incident at Ksan coal mine and he has been identified as Abdul Kalam SK from West Garo Hills (WGH) district.
PTI adds: The miners were now feared dead as water from a nearby river has been gushing into the 370-feet-deep pit.
According to an expert in water resources management, over five lakh litres of water, reaching up to 70 feet, is estimated to be present in the main shaft of the mine.
“It seems water from nearby Ltein river is refilling the mine even as the pumps are in operation,” he said.
The survival of the trapped miners depends on the oxygen supply, water level and the temperature inside, a doctor of a reputed hospital in Shillong said.
“A person can survive without food for seven days depending on the reserves he has in his body. The oxygen supply inside the mine also determines the time period for which they could survive,” he said. #meghalaya #shillong #india