As part of the ongoing efforts to rescue trapped miners from a flooded coal mine in Meghalaya, Navy's Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) probes, up to a distance of 100 feet, have been successfully undertaken inside two identified rat holes, said Eastern Naval Command on Tuesday.
The ROV operations are aimed at identifying and entering the rat holes in the incident shaft while simultaneously sanitising the adjacent shafts.
"Since diving was not feasible, simultaneous ROV operations were undertaken in the adjacent shafts which are likely to be linked to the incident shaft through a network of rat holes. Two shafts have been sanitized thus far without any trace of miners.
The probes by ROV in the incident shaft have been undertaken at night on several occasions and two rat holes out of a probable four have been identified," read a press release shared by Eastern Naval Command.
It said considering the limited dimension of the incident shaft at the bottom and dewatering being a greater priority, ROV operations in the incident shaft have been curtailed and would commence when permitted by imperatives of dewatering. ROV operations in adjacent shafts would continue, however.
A total of five naval ROVs have been augmented on site and simultaneous probes are being undertaken to maximise coverage.
The Naval diving team from Visakhapatnam has been a part of the Meghalaya mines rescue operations since December 28.
15 miners have been trapped in a 370-feet deep illegal mine in Lumthari village since December 13 last year, when the water from the nearby Lytein River flooded the mine.