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Meghalaya mishap: Navy divers go deeper, enter main shaft of mine

Team uses Remotely Operated Underwater Vehicle to survey bottom; come out after three hours, say search will be feasible only when water levels go down to 30 m

Shillong: Indian Navy divers on Sunday went deeper into the mine as they entered the main shaft of the ill-fated coal mine in Ksan village in East Jaintia Hills, where at least 14 labourers have been trapped since December 13.

After surveying the bottom of the shaft using a remotely operated underwater vehicle (ROV) for three hours, the divers found a wooden structure of what is believed to be a tcoal cart and some clothes. Visibility was very poor inside, they said.

The divers also found a rat-hole mine with coal in its mouth.

Meanwhile, the team has requested the district administration to help reduce the water level inside the mine to at least 30 m so that they can commence search operations again.

The Indian navy is carrying out the operations keeping in mind the safety measures to rule out ‘decompression sickness’, also called ‘diver’s sickness’, which divers may face if water levels remains over 30 m.

Two teams of the NDRF are providing assistance to the 15-member Navy divers’ team. Apart from them, 20 personnel of the Odisha Fire Services are also camping at the site and will soon use three high-pressure water pumps to suck out water from the mine. Seven more water pumps are on their way to the site, say reports.

Indian Navy divers prepare to enter the ill-fated coal mine in East Jaintia Hills, Meghalaya
Indian Navy divers prepare to enter the ill-fated coal mine in East Jaintia Hills, Meghalaya
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