Meghalaya Rescue Operation Live Updates: Air Force, Coal India Teams To Reach Today

 
Meghalaya Rescue Operation Live Updates: Air Force, Coal India Teams To Reach Today

NEW DELHI: Over two weeks after a rat-hole mine collapsed in Meghalaya's East Jaintia Hills, trapping 15 people underground, the Indian Air Force has finally come forward to help. Air force is airlifting men and equipment including high power pumps of National Disaster Management Authority to Guwahati this morning. Kirloskar Brothers -- an Indian heavy equipment firm -- has offered to expedite the rescue operation by sending powerful pumps to draw water from the pit, and a team of experts from state-run Coal India Limited is being rushed to the spot to oversee the exercise.

On Thursday, divers detected a foul smell emanating from the pit, giving rise to fears that it could be from that of decomposing bodies below.

Mining was banned across mineral-rich Meghalaya in 2014 after environmentalists raised concerns of groundwater pollution. However, that did not deter local residents from illegally extracting coal on the sly through rat-hole mines, which involves digging into the side of hills and then burrowing horizontal tunnels to reach coal seams.