Air Force plane joins rescue operation of Meghalaya miners

Odisha Fire Service and NDRF personnel load tools on C-130J Super Hercules plane.

Guwahati/New Delhi: A heavy-lift transport plane of the Air Force carrying high-power pumps landed this morning at Guwahati airport, from where the equipment will be taken to a rat-hole mine in Meghalaya where 15 men are trapped for three weeks.

The plane came loaded with heavy tools from Bhubaneswar in Odisha. Low-capacity pumps used by the National Disaster Response Force or NDRF turned out ineffective in extracting water from the collapsed mine in Meghalaya’s East Jaintia Hills.

NDRF senior officials said water from an adjacent abandoned mine and a nearby river kept flooding the rat-hole mine, making it unsafe for their divers to operate. The high-power pumps are arriving three weeks after the mine collapsed on 13 December.