Special divers could be only hope for 2 Jharkhand miners trapped for 2 days

A team of professional divers from Odisha’s Cuttack was pressed into service Wednesday morning to rescue two miners trapped in a flooded underground coal mine since Tuesday morning in Jharkhand’s Mugma colliery area of Eastern Coalfield Limited (ECL).

Mugma area general manager (GM) of ECL Sanctoria (Burdman district of West Bengal) Vibhash Chandra Singh told media persons that besides National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams from Ranchi and Asansol, a six-member squad of Odisha divers has been pressed in to rescue the two miners.

“We have also installed four pumps for pumping out water from the seam of underground coal mines so that trapped miners could be brought out as soon as possible,” he said.

Officials said pump operator Basiya Manjhi (56) and his assistant Manik Bauri (52) were missing after water suddenly flooded one layer of the mine at around 4 am on Tuesday. A total of four miners were engaged in the dewatering exercise in the mine at that time.

While two of them came out, Basiya Manjhi and Manik Bauri were missing, officials said.

Rescue teams from Mugma (Dhanbad) and Sitarampur (West Bengal) were the first to be deployed for the search of the missing miners. When they failed, colliery management sought help from Professional Diving Services, Cuttack.

AD Mishra, director, Directorate General of Mines Safety (DGMS), the country’s mines monitoring body, also reached on the spot with his team. “Our first priority is to bring out missing miners from the underground mine. Thereafter a probe would be started,” he said.

Samir Tudu, one of the four miners, who came out safely, said a massive flow of water suddenly flooded the spot where they were working. He along with Vikash Bhuian managed to come out of the mine in time.

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