Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday slammed Prime Minister Narendra Modi alleging the government was not organising high-pressure pumps for the rescue operation.
Fifteen miners have been trapped in a flooded coal mine in Kasan village of Meghalaya since December 13.
Rahul Gandhi accused Modi of posing for cameras and strutting on the Bogibeel bridge on the mighty Brahmaputra river in neighbouring Assam after inaugurating it on Tuesday.
“15 miners have been struggling for air in a flooded coal mine for two weeks.
Meanwhile, PM struts about on Bogibeel Bridge posing for cameras.
His government refuses to organise high-pressure pumps for the rescue.
PM please save the miners,” Gandhi tweeted.
He said this amid reports that the operation to rescue the 15 miners is hampered by lack of equipment. The miners were trapped after water from the nearby Lytein river suddenly gushed into the pit.
A senior Meghalaya home department official has said the police force in East Jaintia Hills district, where the mine is located, do not have adequate personnel to deal with the problem.
Attempts to rescue the miners have been suspended for the time being because of the lack of equipment, mainly pumps to drain out the water. Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma had written to Coal India seeking transportation of their high powered pumps to the mine to help drain the water out.
About 20 miners entered the quarry and after reaching the bottom of the pit, the miners entered horizontal manholes, often termed as ‘rat-holes’, as each just about fits one person. Five persons were able to climb out of the flooded mine, leaving the others behind.
About 100 personnel of the national and state disaster response forces, along with the police, are waiting for the water to recede about 30 feet as divers can do their job once the water level subsides up to that level.
The NDRF has used a sonar system and an underwater camera to detect the trapped miners. However, the system failed to locate any of those trapped in the main well due to poor visibility.
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