Guwahati: The Centre on Friday rushed a heavy transport aircraft of the Indian Air Force carrying seven high-power pumps to Ksan village in Meghalaya, where 15 labourers are trapped in a flooded rat-hole coal mine since December 13.
Meanwhile, Indian Navy divers on Saturday will join the operation.
The plane took off with the heavy tools from Bhubaneswar in Odisha earlier on Fri-day morning, after low-capacity pumps used by the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) failed to pump out water from rat-hole mine.
The miners have been missing, after the mine they were digging collapsed on them on December 13 in the remote Ksan village of the coal-rich East Jaintia Hills, an area where illegal mining is rife and a National Green Tribunal ban on such activities has been in place for four years.
The state government has been under attack for the tardy rescue operation as family members claimed that miners would be safe in wind pockets inside.
NDRF senior officials said that water from an adjacent abandoned mine was flooding the rat-hole mine, making it unsafe for their divers to operate.
Meanwhile, Indian Navy divers on Saturday will join the operation underway to rescue 15 miners.
The Navy spokesman said in a tweet that a 15-member diving team from Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh will reach the site. “The team is carrying specialised diving equipment including a re-compression chamber and remotely operated vehicles capable of searching underwater,” he said....