Shillong: Another unidentified body was recovered from the mine in the East Jaintia Hills, Meghalaya, on Wednesday where 13 miners were trapped since December 13, 2018. With the combined efforts of both the Indian Navy and National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), the second body was pulled out of the 370-feet-deep flooded coal mine.
“The highly decomposed unidentified body was pulled to the water surface by the Navy’s underwater remotely operated vehicle (UROV) and then taken out in a bucket-type container to the higher grounds at 1.20 PM,” said a rescue official.
The body has been handed over to the Meghalaya Police and is now being taken to Khliehriat hospital for autopsy. According to the official, they had to pull out the body slowly as the flesh would tear off when the ROV tried to get a grip on it. “Efforts are on to pull out another couple of bodies which were located on Saturday and Monday,” added the official.
This brings the bodies fished out to two. Last month also, the first body had been recovered in the operation.
Over 1 crore litres of water has been pumped out of the main shaft in the past month, but there has been no visible change in the water level, an official said. Another 2 crore plus litres of water was pumped out from the nearby abandoned mines suspected to be connected to the mine where the miners are trapped, but the rescuers are clueless ‘how’ and ‘where’ the water is coming from, he said.
In the Khloo-Ryngksan area, where the ill-fated mine is located at the western side of a small hillock, the Lytein river crisscrosses the valley for over 2 km. Experts have been visiting the spot since December 20, 2018, for rescuing the miners after the news broke out at the national level, but the huge water level inside has foiled all their efforts.