Shillong: Indian navy divers have located a third dead body in the flooded Meghalaya mine where rescuers have been trying to extract the remains of the 15 miners who were trapped in the rat-hole mine over two months backs, an official said. The rescuers used a remotely operated underwater vehicle (ROV), which had detected the first body on January 16 and the second on January 26 from the 370-feet deep illegal mine, to find the body on Saturday night.
“They (the Navy) detected another body on Saturday at 9.30 pm with the help of a remotely operated underwater vehicle (ROV),” a senior rescue official said.
Body could disintegrate on retrieval
The body could, however, disintegrate while attempting to retrieve it, the official said. “The body was found to be highly decomposed. The flesh started tearing off when the ROV tried to get a grip on it,” he said. On January 23, the Navy had managed to retrieve the first body from the illegal rat-hole mine, that was identified later to be Amir Hussain from western Assam’s Chirang district.
Efforts on to retrieve rest of the bodies
Meanwhile, teams from Coal India Ltd, KSB and Kirloskar Brothers Ltd continued to pump out water from the abandoned mine. The coal mine disaster took place on December 13 at Ksan village. Despite a ban imposed in 2014 by the National Green Tribunal (NGT), India’s environmental court, about 5,000 rat-hole mines continue to operate in the state, campaigners estimate.
Miners must be taken out ‘dead’ or ‘alive”
The Supreme Court, presently monitoring the rescue operations, informed the government that the trapped miners must be removed from the mine, “dead” or “alive.”