Update at 2:02 PM:
The chief minister of Meghalaya Conrad Sangma speaking of the incident said, "The situation was so grave that even after pumping 12 lakh litres of water, the water level only rose 2 feet. Almost multiple pumps were used, as I said the situation was quite difficult. The NDRF was asked to come in as well as the state government. They really tried their best to do. And it is unfortunate that we were not able to get the water level down. As I said, there was too much water. But we have requested now other agencies to also help. When NDRF is there, it is the top agency in the country that looks at such kind of situations and really as I said the situation was so difficult that we could not save the lives and the operations have been suspended because as I said even after pumping 12 lakh litres of water, the water level only rose."
"So, therefore, we have requested other agencies to give us pumps, which we require almost 100 hp pumps, almost 10-20 pieces. So that in itself is a huge scale. We are working on that and hopefully, we will be able to organize that. As I said nobody thought the situation will be this grave, so difficult and the NDRFas I said and other agencies have tried their best. But now I think it has to be scaled up to a completely different level," he added.
Visuals of the water-level in the Meghalaya 'rat-hole' mine where 15 miners have been trapped for almost two weeks have been accessed. In the video, the disaster response teams provide a situation report with regards to the flooded mine.
In the video, the rescue personnel says that there has been no change in the water level that was recorded on Wednesday, they marked the water level a day before and there has been no change since then.
As per reports, the owner of the illegal mine has been arrested and the rescue mission is still underway.
The miners have been trapped since the mine was flooded on December 13. Some miners who were able to escape on that day gave an account of how water came to inundate the illegal setup. It started with the walls of the mine being moist and culminated in what sounds like torrents of water entering through a hole.
Coal mining had been banned in the mineral-rich state of Meghalaya four years ago by the National Green Tribunal (NGT), with fears over the safety of miners being one of the reasons. However, despite the ban, this kind of informal and illegal 'rat-hole' mining remains rampant and lucrative for the local population. 'Rat-hole' mining refers to horizontal tunnels that are dug into hills allowing for miners to reach coal columns. The tunnels are generally only wide enough for one person to fit through at a time.