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Meghalaya coal mine tragedy: State seeks assistance of navy divers

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Shillong, June 10: Tapping into all the options available with it, Meghalaya government has sought the assistance of navy divers for the rescue of five miners trapped inside an illegal coal mine in the state’s East Jaintia Hills District.

Stating that the government is going for all options to rescue the trapped miners, Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma told reporters on Thursday, “We have written to the ministry of defence to provide us navy divers (for assisting in the rescue operation).”

On the possibility of calling off the rescue operation, the CM said, “It is the responsibility of the government to ensure that we do all steps and all measures to try and save lives.”

The chief minister had termed the rescue operation to be very difficult and informed despite efforts by the district administration as well as other agencies including NDRF, yet there have been no positive results.

At least 100 rescuers from the NDRF, SDRF and the Fire Service are camping at the accident site waiting for the water level to come down to about 10 meters in depth because that is the maximum water level they can operate in.

At least five miners were trapped inside a coal mine in Sutnga Elaka after the tragic accident which took place on the night of May 30.

So far, police have arrested the owner of the coal mine, Shining Langstang, and charged him for violation of the NGT order banning unscientific mining and transportation of coal.
The mine manager aka sordar is still on the run and a look out notice has been issued since he was the one who is responsible for bringing illegal migrant workers from Assam and Tripura to work at the mine.

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