The Air Force on Friday airlifted a National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) team along with equipment from Bhubaneswar to Guwahati for the rescue operation being undertaken by the Meghalaya government to free the miners trapped in a coal mine.
According to Defence Ministry spokesperson Col Aman Anand, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is keeping a close watch on the operation in case any help is needed.
He said the Defence Minister got a call from the Meghalaya government on Thursday requesting assistance from the ministry in the rescue operation.
Following the request, two aircraft - C 130 and AN 32 - of the Eastern Air Command were kept on standby, said Col Anand.
"Today a C-130 transport plane took off from Bhubaneswar at 0830 hrs carrying NDRF personnel and equipment and reached Guwahati at 1200 hrs," he said.
Col Anand added, "The Meghalaya government has taken the operation from here??? but the Air Force is keeping a close watch should there be any requirement we are ready to help."
As many as 13 miners have been trapped in a coal mine in the East Jaintia Hills of Shillong since the last two weeks. So far, attempts by rescuers to reach them have yielded no result.