Meghalaya coal mine tragedy: Second body recovered, yet to be identified
File image of accident site at Umpleng in Meghalaya's East Jaintia Hills district

Shillong: After a rescue operation lasting more than three weeks, a second body was recovered from the main shaft at the Umpleng mine accident site in Meghalaya‘s East Jaintia Hills district on Thursday.

The body was not identified till the filing of this report. No one has come forward to claim even the first body recovered on June 16, said a senior official.

An inquest has been ordered by the executive magistrate and the body is being transported to Khliehriat Morgue for post-mortem, the official added.

Meanwhile, the relatives of the victims hailing from Cachar, Barpeta and Kamrup (Rural) districts of Assam and Kailashahar in North Tripura have been informed through their respective SPs to come forward and identify the retrieved bodies.

Teams of the Indian Navy, SDRF, NDRF and Meghalaya fire and emergency services have been conducting the rescue mission ever since five miners got trapped in the rat-hole mine on May 30.

During the de-watering process, about 5.6 lakh litres of water have been pumped out from shaft No. 1 and about 12.15 lakh litres from shaft No. 2, said the official.

The de-watering is underway even after the retrieval of the two bodies.

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At least five people were trapped inside the rat-hole mine at Umpleng, about 20 km from Khliehriat, after it was flooded following a dynamite explosion on May 30.

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

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