The teams of Indian Navy and Army have been recalled from the Meghalaya mine rescue operation to extract the bodies of 16 miners trapped in a rat-hole mine since December 13, 2018. According to an official communique, the 15-member crew of the Navy, including specialist divers, and Army personnel, who were assisting local authorities in the rescue mission will return to their respective base on Saturday. Wishing the Navy and Army teams a safe return and good luck for their next mission, East Jaintia Hills deputy commissioner FM Dopthsaid, "The district and the state as a whole is indebted to the services rendered by them."
At least 16 miners got trapped in a 370 feet-deep illegal coal mine in Meghalaya’s East Jaintia Hills on December 13. The team of Indian Navy had joined the rescue mission on December 29, while Army personnel were also called in to assist on January 29.
Meanwhile, the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), which has been engaged in the rescue operation since the day of the tragedy on December 13 last, will continue with their services.
“There is no instruction for us to wind up the operation and we will continue with our work,” Santosh Singh, Assistant Commandant of Guwahati-based NDRF team, was quoted by PTI as saying.
Earlier, the second body was handed over to the relatives from Lumthari village, Susngi said. The highly decomposed body was identified by his family members from the clothes he wore, he said.
The companies involved in discharging water from the mines, including the Coal India Ltd, Kirloskar Brothers Ltd and KSB dewatered over 1 crore litres every day, he added.
The operation to rescue the miners is one of the longest in the country and involved multiple agencies, including the Navy, Army, NDRF among others. The family members of each of the 15 miners have been given Rs 1 lakh interim relief each by the district authorities.
(With inputs from agencies)