Shillong: Meghalaya chief minister Conrad K Sangma on Tuesday said that preliminary reports have been received about two bodies being spotted by the team of Indian Navy personnel in the flooded coal mine in East Jaintia Hills.

Five miners have been trapped in the rat-hole in the Umpleng area since May 30.

“I have received information on WhatsApp, but not in writing as yet, that two bodies have been spotted. We have received the message unofficially and we are waiting for an official communication in writing from the deputy commissioner. So, we will have to wait and see,” Sangma said.

He added that the Navy and other teams are working day and night on the rescue mission.

Attempts to rescue the five workers trapped in the mine have been going on since the incident took place on May 30.

Also read: Meghalaya districts have no ambulance with life support: Opposition leader Mukul Sangma

At least five people have been identified by the district administration – four from Assam and one from Tripura – who got stuck somewhere inside the rat-hole mine at Umpleng, about 20 km from Khliehriat, after it was flooded following a dynamite explosion.

Hazardous rat-hole coal mining is not permitted in Meghalaya after the National Green Tribunal (NGT) banned it in 2014.

The Indian Navy, which was able to pull out three bodies from a flooded mine in Meghalaya using a sophisticated machine in 2019, on Sunday joined the operations.

On Monday, it completed mapping of the 152-metre-deep vertical shaft of the flooded coal mine.

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