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Wednesday 8 April 2020

Meghalaya miners’ rescue: Malfunctioning pumps delay operation

Fifteen miners are trapped inside a 370-foot-deep illegal coal mine in Meghalaya's East Jaintia Hills district since 13 December after water from a nearby river gushed in, puncturing the mine wall

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Shillong: The multi-agency operation to rescue the miners trapped in a flooded quarry in Meghalaya’s East Jaintia Hills district was hindered after the high-powered pumps encountered technical snags on Tuesday, officials said.

Fifteen miners are trapped inside a 370-foot-deep illegal coal mine in Meghalaya’s East Jaintia Hills district since 13 December after water from a nearby river gushed in, puncturing the mine wall.

On the 20th day of the operation, Indian Navy personnel resumed with their diving using unmanned remotely operated vehicles with the assistance of the NRDF in the main shaft, operation spokesperson R Susngi said.

“There were some technical problems with the machines and the rescue operation was affected,” he said.

The depth of the shaft is a little over 370 foot (113 metre), Susngi said quoting the Navy, and added that the water level inside the vertical shaft is at 161 foot (49 metre), he said.

Work is on to get the pumps ready. The fire services team from Odisha is also preparing to resume pumping from the two shafts nearby.
Susngi said there was slight dip in the water level in the mine shaft, but it was not significant enough.

The district administration is procuring a third crane which will be used in the abandoned mine shafts.

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