Meghalaya mine rescue ops likely to become longest in history
Bengaluru, Jan 15: On January 13, it's been is exactly a month since 15 miners have been trapped in an illegal coal mine in Meghalaya's East Jaintia hills district. Not a single miner has yet been rescued, rescuers are waiting for a miracle to happen.
The Supreme Court also had asked the state government to continue with the rescue operations. "Carry on with your rescue efforts, what if all or at least some are still alive? Miracles do happen," Justice AK Sikri, who headed the bench had said.
The previous rescue operations around the world do give hope for the lives of Meghalaya miners. The ongoing rescue operation is likely to be one of the longest in history.
In 2010, 33 miners stranded 700m below the surface were rescued from the San José copper-gold project in northern Chile. At least four miners were killed, others successfully evacuated from the collapsed mine. The miners were trapped underground for 69 days. Rescue workers from Chile's National Emergency office and navy submarine experts, alongside NASA engineers, used three drills to cut through 600m of rock to reach the miners. A hole, measuring 12 inches wide, was first drilled to the workers before a wider hole was bored into the earth, large enough to fit an escape capsule.
A group of coal miners at the Black Wolf-owned Quecreek mine in Pennsylvania accidentally dug into the neighbouring Saxman coal mine on 22 June 2002. Breaking into the abandoned mine flooded the Quecreek operation with 75 million gallons of water that had built up in the older mine. Diesel water pumps were used to remove 27,000 gallons of water per minute from the mine. Half of the 18 workers were able to escape to the surface, the remaining nine were trapped in the mine's shafts and chambers. The final miner reaching the surface at 2:45 am on 28 July.
Over a hundred miners were rescued from the Wangjialing mine in Shanxi province in 2010. Flood water entered the mine while 153 miners were underground. rescuers installed pumps that drained more than 11 million gallons of water a day from the mine. Unable to rescue all of the miners, but 115 lives were saved. Many were reported as missing as their bodies were never found
In April 2006, when a magnitude 2.1 earthquake hit the Beacons field gold mine in Tasmania, one of the 17 miners working underground at the time died. The majority, 14, was able to escape to the surface, leaving two miners trapped in a lift. Rescuers were able to give them food and water through a pipe drilled into the mine. They had to wait two weeks before rescue workers could reach them.