Indian Navy has recovered a body from the illegal 'rat-hole' coal mine in Meghalaya where 15 miners were trapped for over a month, the spokesperson of the Navy said. The body was spotted at a depth of more than 200 feet inside the illegal coal mine at Ksan near Lytein River in East Jaintia Hills. The rescue operations for the rest of the miners was still underway.
"One body detected by Indian Navy Divers using Underwater ROV at a depth of approximately 160 feet and 210 feet inside a rat-hole mine. The body has been pulled up to the mouth of Rat-hole mine and shall be extracted out of the mine under the supervision of Doctors," SpokespersonNavy tweeted.
#MeghalayaMineTragedy #Flash One body detected by Indian Navy Divers using Underwater ROV at a depth of approx 60 feet and 210 feet inside a rat-hole mine @SpokespersonMoD @DefenceMinIndia @nsitharaman @PMOIndia pic.twitter.com/sP1sv6ikRn— SpokespersonNavy (@indiannavy) January 17, 2019
At least 15 miners are trapped in the illegal 'rat-hole' mine since December 13, 2018, after it got flooded. After the Supreme Court chastised it for the lackluster attitude, the BJP-led alliance government in Meghalaya intensified the rescue operations. Indian Navy took over the rescue mission and sent its underwater remote operated vehicle (ROV) to look for the coal miners.
In a joint rescue operation also involving local workers and NDRF, pumped over one crore litre of water out of the flooded mine but seepage from the nearby rivers was creating more hurdles.
Earlier on Friday, the top court had asked the Meghalaya government to continue with their efforts to save miners trapped in a coal mine saying "miracles do happen". The court also suggested the Centre and state government take help from experts.
"Carry on with your rescue efforts, what if all or at least some are still alive? Miracles do happen," a bench headed by Justice A K Sikri had told the state government.
As far as the issue of funds for the rescue mission is concerned, the state Deputy Commissioner had more than Rs 30 lakh at his disposal at the start of the rescue operation. On January 3, the government took a decision to place an additional Rs 20 lakh with the DC to meet the requirements.