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Meghalaya coal mine tragedy: Additional NDRF team rushed, trapped miners’ family losing hope

Shillong, Dec 28 (IANS) The Central government on Friday rushed an additional National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) team to Meghalaya to assist the state in evacuating 15 miners who are trapped inside an illegal coal mine for 16 days now.

ALSO READ | Meghalaya coal mine tragedy| Odisha team to begin rescue op in East Jaintia Hills

Coal India Limited (CIL) officials have rushed to the site in remote Ksan area in East Jaintia Hills district. A two-member team from Kirloskar Brothers’ Limited has already reached the site.

ALSO READ | Meghalaya | State ruling NPP leader arrested in attack on women rights activists

Indian Air Force (IAF) Spokesman Wing Commander Ratnakar Singh said a C-130J Super Hercules has been tasked to airlift NDRF rescuers from Bhubaneswar to Guwahati on Friday.

“We have been to the mining site on Thursday and made preliminary assessment along with the NDRF team. We have discussed plans and strategies with the NDRF and State administration how to dewater from the pit,” N. Mahapatra of Kirloskar Brothers’ Limited, told IANS.

“We require a good number of powerful pumps to suck out the water and this has been informed to our senior officials,” he said.

CIL Director Technical Binay Dayal, who arrived in Shillong on Thursday and held discussions with district authorities, said that the first task is to try to get the map of the illegal coal mine.

“Our logistics and technical team are on the way to the mining site. We are hopeful that our powerful pumps reach the site soon. We have been told that several other agencies would also provide necessary assistance,” he said.

The district administration has temporarily suspended pumping of water from the coal pit since December 24. However, the NDRF rescuers team dived inside the main shaft of the coal pit but could not locate any of the miners.

“The rescue operation is still on and our divers dived yesterday (Thursday) to locate the trapped miners but could not locate any of them. There is nothing in the main shaft of the coal pit. We have used all our equipment with us including SONAR to find out if any of the miners are trapped in the main shaft,” NDRF Assistant Commandant Santosh Kumar Singh, told IANS.

Asked if the rescuers have lost hope to evacuate the trapped miners over ground, Singh said, “Rescuers never lose hope. We are all putting our best efforts to rescue them.”Meghalaya coal mine tragedy: Additional NDRF team rushed, trapped miners’ family losing hope

However, the relatives of the trapped miners are losing hope and are expecting a miracle to occur.

Year-ender 2018: What makes headlines in Meghalaya this year

By Ibankyntiew Mawrie | Dec 27, 2018:

From the fall of the ‘Mighty Congress’ to the rise of a new Government; from landmark decisions to controversial bills; from granting freedom to a cop-turned militant to thumping a final nail on the GNLA’s coffin; from violent protests to weeks without internet; from brutal attacks to tragic accidents, Meghalaya has seen it all.

A lot has happened in the past one year — the ‘abode of Clouds’ — Meghalaya witnessed not only changes but was also reminded of the grim days when the Pine City was subjected to curfews, internet shutdown, flag marches and law and order failure.

A special gift for Government employees this Christmas!

SHILLONG | Dec 19, 2018: 

A Christmas present for the employees of the Meghalaya Government with the release of another 30 percent arrears of the revised pay and allowances  accruing for the period from Jan 1, 2017 to Nov 30, 2017.

Meghalaya bags award for being most improved small state in Agri sector

SHILLONG | Nov 23, 2018: 

The Chief Advisor to the Chief Minister Thomas A. Sangma today received the India Today – “The State of the States” award on behalf of the State Government at Taj Mahal Hotel in New Delhi.

Cherry Blossom: The tree that binds Meghalaya and Japan

Shillong | Nov 14, 2018:

Chief Minister, Conrad K Sangma on Wednesday said that Meghalaya and Japan are home to a unique benediction of nature — Cherry Blossom and maintained that the state government is looking forward to long-term and short-term collaboration with the Government of Japan building on the commonality of this remarkable tree.

Find out what’s in store for you at the Cherry Blossom Festival

Shillong | Nov 13, 2018: 

Starting tomorrow, the India International Cherry Blossom Festival 2018 will celebrate the unique autumn flowering of Himalayan Cherry Blossoms with several cultural events at Shillong, the capital of Meghalaya.

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