Rescuers pumped out over 15 lakh litre water in an over 17-hours effort on Friday from a 370-foot deep coal mine where 15 miners are trapped since December 13, but there was no significant drop in water level to facilitate the search, officials said. The water pumped out Friday from the main shaft was in addition to the over 28 lakh litres taken out on Thursday, but there has been no significant drop in the water level.
The Kirloskar Brothers Ltd pump is engaged in dewatering the main shaft where the miners are trapped. They carried out the work for 17.5 hours and managed to pump out 15.75 lakh litres, operations spokesperson R Susngi said.
According to the official, the Coal India Ltd ran their pump for 15 hours and discharged 11.3 lakh litres of water from the nearby abandoned mine, which rescuers suspect is interconnected with the mine where the miners are trapped. He said six pumps from Odisha were put into service to drain 3.15 lakh litres of water from the temporary storage where water pumped by CIL was kept downstream. Susngi said rescuers from the Indian Navy surveyed and sanitised another abandoned shaft nearby.
There are about 80 to 100 abandoned mines in the Khloo-Ryngksan area and experts have opined that at least 10-20 nearby abandoned mines are suspected to be connected with the main shaft at some point forcing the rescue teams to begin search operations there, Susngi said.
(With inputs from agencies.)