SHILLONG, Feb 6 - The operation to rescue trapped miners at Ksan village is slowly getting a quiet burial with an agency being pulled out of the action.
The Odisha Fire Service (OFS) has been pulled out of the operations as their service is no longer required. The OFS personnel have been mainly involved in pumping out water from the mine shafts since December 28. They returned home today.
Satyapir Behera, Deputy Fire Officer, OFS, thanked the district administration of East Jaintia Hills for providing the logistic support and also the accommodation to his personnel.
“Grateful to the district administration for providing all logistic support as well as accommodation. Grateful to the Indian Navy, National Disaster Response Force and all members of the Ksan Operation for full cooperation,” Behera said.
Twenty-two OFS personnel headed by a Deputy Superintendent of Police were involved in the rescue operations with ten 63 horse power pumps. The team worked relentlessly during the operations and earned respect from several agencies for their professionalism and dedicated hard work.
Before departing for Odisha today, the team clarified that the OFS “did not charge anything” for its rescue operations. The team was reacting to reports that it was given Rs 1 lakh every day for the operations, but Sukanta Sethi, OFS Chief Fire Officer, rubbished the reports.
“The OFS has not charged anything. The Meghalaya Government has provided accommodation, fuel and transportation to the site. All manpower and equipment were airlifted by the Indian Air Force,” Sethi said.
Meanwhile, the operation is likely to be closed in the coming days as those trapped are all feared to be dead. The Supreme Court also made the same observation during a recent hearing on the rescue operations.
A second body was detected, but the Indian Navy and the other agencies have not been able to retrieve it as yet. The turbidity in the mine has made visibility poor. However, the remotely-operated vehicle (ROV) is still being used to recover the body.