ROV firm to join search for missing miners in Meghalaya

Navy personnel carrying out search in Meghalaya coal mine. DH photo
Deputy commissioner of East Jaintia Hills district, Federick M Dopth said a 14-member team of Planys Technologies, a private firm, was on their way to the site with equipment such as Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROV). 
 
Planys Technologies is an IIT Madras incubated company that offers robotic inspection and search solutions with remotely operated vehicles.
 
This comes a day after Supreme Court asked Meghalaya government to carry on with the operation saying miracles do happen. 
 
The miners, who had reportedly dug rat holes inside the 380-feet deep shaft to extract coal got trapped after water entered, possibly from nearby abandoned coal mines. There is about 150-feet water in the shaft, where the miners got trapped, as the adjoining mines are probably interconnected underneath.
 
Navy and NDRF personnel used deep divers, sonars and underwater vehicles. Odisha fire service personnel, Kirloskar Brothers and Coal India used high powered water pumps but all are clueless about the miners for the past one month. Personnel of a German company based in Pune also joined the team to pump out water from the mines, official spokesperson R Susngi said.
 
Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma has faced criticism for not visiting the site even once. "No minister has visited the site as they are attending party meetings and Christmas celebrations. This shows the government's negligence in dealing with illegal coal mining and the victims," said an activist in Shillong.
 
The state government, meanwhile, has issued a public notice seeking applications from family members of those who died or got injured in similar coal mine mishaps since 2012. At least 15 miners had similarly got trapped and drowned in a coal mine in 2012.

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ROV firm to join search for missing miners in Meghalaya

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