Operations to rescue the trapped 15 miners in the flooded coal mine in Meghalaya's East Jaintia Hills district witnessed a new lease of life after the two high powered pumps started dewatering the main shaft on Friday.
The pumps, offered by Kirloskar Brothers Ltd, were finally activated on Day 23 of rescue operations at 3:30 pm on Friday. With the help of these pumps, Navy divers are expected to gauge the water level in the shaft.
Meanwhile, a high power submersible pump from Coal India and two other pumps from Odisha fire service are engaged in dewatering the nearby abandoned mines, which might be interlinked and as much help in lowering of water in the main shaft. The NRDF and other agencies are on the standby.
The Fire Service reported that the water level from the old shaft has receded by 1.5 inches.
Rescue divers from the Indian Navy and the NDRF are yet to be able to make any significant impact in their search and rescue operations as the water level is still beyond 100 feet, the safe diving capacity for the divers, the official said.
The water level at the main shaft where the miners are trapped is about 160 feet, he said, adding that total depth of the main shaft is about 370 feet.
Meanwhile, the Centre on Friday told the Supreme Court that they were facing difficulties in the operation to rescue 15 miners trapped in an illegal coal mine in Meghalaya since December 13 as there was no blueprint of the 355-feet well.
No contact has been established yet with the trapped miners till now. It is still not clear whether they have access to food or water.
Fifteen miners are trapped inside a 370-foot-deep illegal coal mine in East Jaintia Hills district since December 13 after water from a nearby river gushed in, puncturing the mine wall.
With agency inputs