NEW DELHI: The search operations for the 15 miners trapped in the rat-hole mine in Meghalaya East Jaintia Hills, is entering its third week. On Friday, a heavy transport aircraft of the Indian Air Force carrying 10 high-power pumps landed at the Assam's Guwahati airport.

Rescue operations were suspended on Monday, after the low-powered pumps being used to suck out water failed to rise to the occasion. The high-power pumps had arrived in Guwahati, three weeks after the mine collapsed on December 13. The high-capacity pumps which have been supplied by Coal India are special pumps being brought from Coal India mines in Asansol in West Bengal and Dhanbad in Jharkhand.

"Pumps have have reached East Jaintia hills, will be taken to accident site today," said Meghalaya police. The high-pressure pumps are being transported by road to Lumthari village in Meghalaya. Fifteen Navy divers have also been airlifted from Visakhapatnam to join the rescue operations and an initial assessment to determine an effective response was undertaken by the Navy on Friday. 

The illegal mine has no map, which might lead to delay in the operations, say sources.

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