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Meghalaya Tragedy costs life of a miner as navy finds 'decomposed body'

One of the relatives of the trapped mine workers said, "The rescuers showed us video footages of a dead body stuck inside a coal mine in a computer (underwater ROV). We don't know whose body it is. We want the government to follow the Supreme Court order to get the bodies out of that coal mine."

Saima Siddiqui

Saima SiddiquiBy Saima Siddiqui

Published on 18 Jan 2019 6:27 AM GMT

Meghalaya Tragedy costs life of a miner as navy finds decomposed body
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Meghalaya Tragedy costs life of a miner, as navy finds 'decomposed body'
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Shillong: After a body of one of the 15 mine workers was spotted by Navy divers, on Thursday, 270 feet below the surface, using a underwater remotely operated vehicles, the families of trapped miners said they want the "dead bodies" of the miners to be extracted as per Supreme Court's order.

On December 13, 2018, an illegal coal mine in Meghalaya’s East Jaintia Hills district had collapsed and water from the adjacent Lytein river gushed in, leaving at least 15 workers trapped.

ALSO READ: Meghalaya mine tragedy: Body of one of 15 workers detected, says navy

However, five miners managed to escape and alerted the people about the tragedy at Ksan village, about 130 km from Shillong. Rescue efforts are on to salvage the remaining 14 miners.

A team of 10 Indian Navy divers after 32 days of tragedy and 3 weeks of rigorous toil came out with pictures of a body which was pulled up to the mouth of the mine.

With the body showing signs of decomposition, the district authorities sought the consent of the family members of the trapped miners to furnish their views by Friday on whether the body could be taken out from the mine.

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"The body will be extracted under the supervision of doctors," said a Navy spokesperson in a tweet.

One of the relatives of the trapped mine workers said, "The rescuers showed us video footages of a dead body stuck inside a coal mine in a computer (underwater ROV). We don't know whose body it is. We want the government to follow the Supreme Court order to get the bodies out of that coal mine."

"We want his body back so that we can give him a decent burial," he further said.

"We were told that a body was spotted inside the mine. They are trying to retrieve it. We want the body," said the other person.

"Deputy Commissioner F.M. Dopth invited the family members from Lumthari village and two from Assam's Chirang district to view the video footages," said Rescue spokesperson Reginald Susngi.

"As per expert opinion, the body could be retrieved only after it is disintegrated. The body has been pulled up to 100 feet from 210 feet. Many body parts have already started falling apart," Susngi stated.

A Supreme Court bench comprising Justices A.K. Sikri and S. Abdul Nazeer had expressed dissatisfaction with the rescue operation and ordered : "No matter whether they (trapped persons) are all dead, some alive, few dead or all alive, they should have been taken out by now. We pray to God that they all are alive."

At least 200 rescuers from the Navy, National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), the Odisha Fire Service, State Disaster Response Fund, States Fire service and others from Coal India Limited (CIL) and Kirloskar Brothers Ltd (KBL) are involved in the multi-agency rescue operations.

The body was retrieved by Indian Navy Divers after it was detected using Underwater ROV at a depth of approx 160 feet and 210 feet inside rat-hole mine. They are trapped inside since December 15 last year.

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Saima Siddiqui

Saima Siddiqui

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