Shillong: Meghalaya chief minister Conrad K Sangma on Wednesday said that the state government will appeal the Supreme Court to call off the ongoing rescue operations to retrieve the bodies of the remaining 13 coal miners who are still trapped inside a coal mine at Ksan in East Jaintia Hills district.

“We are still trying, but it looks very difficult, and we will approach and see if Supreme Court allows us to discontinue with the operations. But right now, since the matter is in court, it won’t be right for me to make any comments,” Sangma told media persons.

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Up to 15 miners were trapped inside a coal mine after a wall broke down and water gushed in on December 13 last year. The disaster took place at Ksan despite an interim ban on rat-hole coal mining in Meghalaya by the National Green Tribunal since April 17, 2014.

Indian Navy divers who have been carrying out the rescue operations for almost two consecutive months managed to retrieve only two bodies from the pit. They detected three more bodies by using Underwater Remote Operated Vehicle, but failed to evacuate them as the body parts were in a decomposed state.

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