Families identifying video

Shillong: More than a month after 15 miners were trapped inside an illegal coal mine in Meghalaya’s East Jaintia Hills district, Navy divers “detected” a body inside the main shaft of the mine using an remotely-operated underwater vehicle (ROV) on Wednesday evening.

As per East Jaintia Hills district public relations officer R Susngi, the body was detected at a depth of 210 ft inside the 370-ft-deep mine.

On Thursday afternoon, East Jaintia Hills deputy commissioner FM Dopth called the family members of five of the 15 miners to view the video captured via the ROV. While three of the five miners, whose family members were called, hailed from the nearby Lumthari village, two belonged to Assam’s Chirang district.

Also Read: Killer coal mines of Meghalaya: Livelihood or death-trap?

According to Susngi, the body, which was detected, has signs of decomposition, and rescuers are trying to retrieve the same. He also said that the body has been pulled up to 100 ft from the original point of detection. Many body parts have started to disengage in the process, he added.

Family members of five of the 15 miners trapped inside the illegal coal mine in East Jaintia Hills trying to identify the body that was detected by Navy divers on Wednesday evening

However, he said the family members will provide their feedback only on Friday.

The three miners from Lumthari village include Chal Dkhar, Long Dkhar, and Nilam Dkhar. The miners from Chirang district of Assam have been identified as Amir Hussain, Munirul Islam, and Saiar Islam.

Besides these miners, there are seven miners from two villages under Rajabala in West Garo Hills district, and another two from Assam.

Also Read: Meghalaya: Illegal coal mining claims 2 more lives

Further, Susngi said that pumps of the Odisha Fire Services were operated from an old shaft on Thursday, after which 4,05,000 litres of water were discharged.

He also said that Coal India Limited pumps were put into use in two other old shafts, after which 43,09,200 litres of water were pumped out.

Meanwhile, experts from Planys Technology, Chennai used their remotely-operated vehicle and launched a sonar mapping of the main shaft and were able to detect one rat hole. An expert took out a survey of the main mine to get a glimpse of the geological scenario, Susngi added.

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