New Delhi: A Navy team finally managed to remove one body from a 370-feet deep flooded coal mine in Meghalaya's East Jaintia Hills, where 14 other miners have been trapped for more than a month. Rescuers used underwater remotely operated vehicle (UROV) to pull the body, which was highly decomposed, to the water surface and then take it out, officials said, adding that the body has been sent for postmortem examination.
The disintegrated body of one of the trapped miners, spotted last week, slipped to the bottom of the main shaft on January 23. The Navy officers are making their best attempts to locate the remains with their unmanned ROV, an official had said.
In the past week, teams of pump operators from Odhisa Fire Service, Coal India and Kirloskar Brothers have discharged over 81 lakh litres of water from nearby abandoned mines.
While relatives said this week they had lost hope that the miners were still alive, rescue efforts in the region continue. The 15 miners were trapped inside the illegal mine on December 13.
Earlier this month, rescuers searching for the trapped workers found the body of one person and some skeletons.
The Meghalaya government announced Rs 1 lakh interim relief for families of all miners trapped, with the Supreme Court monitoring the case on a weekly basis.
Rat-hole mining, which has been banned by India's environmental court in 2014, is still common in the region despite the ban.