Shillong: After a rescue operation lasting more than three weeks and a day after a second body was recovered, the body of a third miner was retrieved from the main shaft at the Umpleng mine accident site in Meghalaya‘s East Jaintia Hills district on Friday.

East Jaintia Hills deputy commisioner E Kharmalki confirmed that the navy team detected one more body and retrieved it from the main shaft on Friday.

“Inquest has been conducted by the executive magistrate at the spot and the body is being transported to Khliehriat morgue for post-mortem,” said Kharmalki.

So far, three bodies have been recovered from the rat-hole mine so far.

The third body recovered on Friday has been identified as Abdul Sukkur, 28, who was a resident of Pingorgool (Bortol) village in Assam’s Karimganj district. He is survived by his wife, 24, and three children.

However, no one has claimed the other two bodies till the filing of this report.

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.

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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.

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

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