‘Miracles happen, carry on efforts to save miners’: SC to Meghalaya govt

the asian age

India, All India

SC also asked Meghalaya govt about steps being taken by it against those running illegal mines.

'Take help of experts to rescue the trapped miners', Supreme Court told Centre and Meghalaya government. (Photo: File | AP)

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday asked the Meghalaya government to continue with their efforts to save miners trapped in a coal mine saying “miracles do happen”.

The apex court reiterated that the Centre and Meghalaya government should take help of experts to rescue the miners, news agency ANI reported.

"Carry on with your rescue efforts, what if all or at least some are still alive? Miracles do happen," a bench headed by Justice A K Sikri told the state government.

The Navy has deployed five remotely operated vehicles in operation to rescue the 15 miners trapped in illegal mine since December 13, the state government informed the court.

The state government told the court that one crore litre of water has been pumped out so far from the illegal mine but seepage from nearby rivers was creating hurdles in the rescue operation.

The top court further asked the state government about steps being taken by it against those running the illegal mines and also the officials who have allowed the operations of such mines.

“One person involved in running illegal mines where the incident took place has been arrested,” the Meghalaya government told the court.

The bench has posted the matter to January 18 for further hearing.

At least 15 miners are trapped in a 370 foot-deep illegal coal mine at Khloo Ryngksan area of Nongkhlieh elaka under East Jaintia Hills district since December 13 last year.

At least 200 rescuers from the Navy, NDRF, the Odisha Fire Service, State Disaster Response Fund, states Fire service and others from CIL and KBL are involved in the multi-agency rescue operations.

The grave accident at the mine has brought to light the presence of illegal coal mining using unsafe and unscientific rat-hole methods despite the National Green Tribunal ban since 2014.

(With PTI inputs)