Rescue operations to help at least 14 miners trapped in a flooded coal mine in Meghalaya entered the sixth day on Tuesday with rains hindering efforts, The Indian Express reported. The mine in East Jaintia Hills district’s Saipung area is reportedly illegal.
National Disaster Response Force and State Disaster Response Force personnel are attempting to rescue the miner. Water entering the mine from a number of places is adding to their challenges, rescue officials said.
“Water gushing into the mine is proving to be a big hindrance,” NDRF commandant SK Shastri told NDTV. “In the absence of a map, we do not even know how many channels are there inside. The space beyond the shaft of the mine is also very narrow, but we are trying our best to expedite the operation.”
On Monday, Chief Minister Conrad Sangma announced that he has sought the Centre’s assistance. The chief minister said he spoke to Union minister Kiren Rijiju the day after the incident “and requested him to send more professional help”. Meanwhile, a miner who reportedly managed to escape told The Shillong Times on Monday that 17 workers are trapped inside the mine.
The police arrested the owner of the mine, Jrin Chullet, on Friday but his aide is still absconding.