Meghalaya Mine Tragedy: Navy detects another body

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Navy finds another body in Meghalaya's illegal Rat hole coal mine. File Photo.

SHILLONG, Jan 27: Indian Naval divers on Saturday detected another body inside a 370 feet deep flooded coal mine in Meghalaya’s East Jaintia Hills district where over a dozen miners remain trapped since December 13, an official said.

“They (Navy) detected another body at 3.18 a.m. with the help of an underwater remotely operated vehicle (UROV),” a senior rescue official who wished not to be named said.

“During their search (operation), the Navy team also stumbled on tell-tale signs like spades, a wooden cart and then located the dead miner inside the mine,” he said.

Also Read: Meghalaya Mining Tragedy: Retrieved body identified

The rescue official said the second body was detected from the same rat-hole coal mine where the UROV found the first body of a miner on January 16 — 32 days after the miners got trapped inside the mine on December 13 as water gushed in.

“The divers are now making efforts to pull out the body. We are hopeful of taking it out as soon as possible,” he said.

On Friday, the body of a coal miner retrieved from the flooded coal mine on Thursday was identified as Amir Hussain of western Assam’s Chirang district.

Police handed over the body to his family on Saturday.

Coal mine accidents are rampant in the mountainous state for their unscientific “rat hole mining” habits even after a National Green Tribunal (NGT) imposed an interim ban in April 2014.

Also Read: Citizen’s Report reveals unabated coal mining in Meghalaya despite NGT ban