More than 40 days after 15 miners were trapped in a 370-feet deep flooded illegal ‘rat hole’ coal mine in Meghalaya's East Jaintia Hills district, the Indian Navy on Thursday managed to pull out a decomposed body. According to reports, the body has been sent for a post-mortem. The body was spotted last week but on Wednesday it slipped to the bottom of the main shaft. Bodies of 14 miners still remain trapped inside the mine.
The Navy used an underwater remotely operated vehicle (UROV) to pull the body to the water surface, a senior rescue official said. Navy personnel are trying hard to locate the remains in the flooded mine in East Jaintia Hills district. According to reports, divers had spotted skeletons inside the mines however it is not clear that they are of the missing miners. The water inside the mines has high Sulphur content because of which bodies are likely to decompose very fast.
Meghalaya: One body recovered from the mine at Ksan near Lyteiñ River in East Jaintia Hills where 13 miners were trapped since December 13. Body sent for postmortem pic.twitter.com/mVncA2lZUi— ANI (@ANI) January 24, 2019
Coal mine accidents have been rampant in the mountainous state due to unscientific "rat hole mining" even after a National Green Tribunal imposed an interim ban in April 2014.
The miners had disappeared inside the mine on December 13 last year. According to five miners who had a narrow escape, one of the workers could have accidentally punctured the walls of possibly another nearby abandoned and flooded mine.
The state government has announced Rs 1 lakh interim relief for families of all the trapped miners and the Supreme Court is monitoring the case on a weekly basis. The next hearing is scheduled for Monday.