News & Information From Northeast India

Navy detects another body inside Meghalaya rat-hole coal mine

The Indian Navy 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 am with the help of an underwater remotely operated vehicle (UROV),” a senior rescue official who wished not to be named was quoted as saying by news agency IANS.

“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.

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 – thirty two 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 imposed an interim ban in April 2014.

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