Thai cave rescuers arrive in Kuttanad for 'flush out' task

Thailand Rescue team
At Kuttanad, Xylem has brought in a dozen huge water pumps from Dubai. All except one of them have been fixed on barges and is flushing out water.: Photo | Manorama
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Alappuzha: Two months after they carried out a major rescue operation pumping water out from a trecherous Thailand cave to rescue 12 children and their football coach, Robert Spinner and N J Adam Drakeley were in Kerala, having just finished a similar mission in flood-submerged Kuttanad.

Both were in the low-lying Kainakary village of Alappuzha district to head the operation of flushing out water from its sprawling fields.

As top employees of the technical wing of US-based Xylem Inc, the duo was in Kerala to carry out free service on behalf of their 2011-founded water technology provider headquartered in New York.

Drakeley returned to England on Tuesday, having arrived in Alappuzha last week to decide on where all to fix water pumps for the flush-out task. Spinner completed his share of the work on Thursday and is set to fly to Philadephia in America.

“The sights at Kuttanad were a surprise. The losses are disastrous,” said Spinner, 35. “The pumps are working well. The assignment has been a success.”

Both Spinner and Drakeley were in Thailand’s Chiang Rai province for six days from end-June to save 13 people who were trapped inside a cave since June 23.

At Kuttanad, Xylem has brought in a dozen huge water pumps from Dubai. All except one of them have been fixed on barges and is flushing out water.

The twelfth pump is operating in Alappuzha city. Each pump is capable of pumping out one lakh litres of water a minute.

The transportation of the pumps from the Gulf cost Xylem Rs 50 lakh, according to the company’s India managing director H Bala and special projects director Sridhar Arakkal. The pumping, which began on August 4, will go on for another ten days.

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