05:10 GMT +321 October 2019
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    A miner slowly carries a heavy load of wet coal

    Indian Administration Pushes Navy, Air Force to Rescue Trapped Miners

    © AFP 2019 / ROBERTO SCHMIDT / FILES
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    With the government struggling to establish contact with the 15 miners trapped in Meghalaya in illegal coal mines, Navy and Air Force has now been pressed to service to assist the disaster management bodies in the rescue operations which has been fruitless for the last two weeks.

    Amid dying hopes of rescuing the 15 trapped miners alive, the Indian Air Force on Friday joined the rescue operations and the Indian Navy despatched its diving team to reach the Meghalaya coal mine in which water from a nearby flooded pit continues to seep in incessantly since December 13. 

    "Indian Navy is deploying a 15 member diving team from Visakhapatnam to assist the rescue operations," said Indian Navy Spokesperson. 

    ​Meanwhile, Fire Services personnel from the eastern state of Odisha also left for Meghalaya in a special aircraft to assist local authorities in the rescue of trapped coal miners. However, the local television reporters on the ground have conveyed that the situation is grim and the operation to save 15 miners in Meghalaya seems to be very difficult. 

    The transport plane of Indian Air force reached the site on Friday with high power pumps after those being used by the National Disaster Relief Force (NDRF) proved ineffective in extracting the water from the mine. 

    "Rescue operations are underway. Besides the three units of NDRF, technical teams having expertise in mining fields are also here. Coal India has also sent a team to support the rescue work. Till now we have not been able to establish any contact with the trapped miners," SK Shastri, Commandant, NDRF told Sputnik. 

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    According to local news channels, water from an adjacent abandoned mine was flooding the rat-hole mine, making it unsafe for their divers to operate. On Thursday, divers detected foul smell emanating from the pit, raising fears that it could be from that of decomposing bodies, NDTV added.
    The coal pit is located in the East Jaintia Hills district where mining has been completely banned by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) since 2014. Coal mines were designated as a major cause of water pollution in the area.     
    Tags:
    Mining, trapped, coal, accident, India
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