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Navy locates fifth body in M’laya mine

Navy locates fifth body in M’laya mine
Navy divers retrieving the fifth body at 230 feet in the same rat hole where 3rd & 4th miners were found.
Correspondent Shillong, Feb 26: | Publish Date: 2/27/2019 12:00:00 AM IST

Indian navy divers on Tuesday located a fifth body  from inside the 370-feet deep flooded coal mine in Meghalaya’s East Jaintia Hills Hills district, where over a dozen miners remain were trapped since December 13, an official said.

“The fifth body, which was detected at 230 feet in the same rat-hole coal mine, where the third and fourth dead miners were located, at 5:10 p m, with the help of a remotely operated underwater vehicle (ROV),” a senior rescue official, who wished not to be named, said.

On Saturday, the divers with the help of their robot located the third body at  9.30 p.m, while the fourth body was detected at 230 feet at 4:32 p.m on Monday.

The rescue official said all three bodies which are still inside the rat-hole coal mine could “disintegrate” during the retrieval process as the bodies were found to be highly decomposed. “The flesh started tearing off when the ROV tried to get a grip on the bodies," he said

The ROV had detected the first body on January 16 and the second on January 26 from the rat-hole coal mine.

Of the 15 trapped miners, the Navy could retrieve only one body on January 23 identified as that of Amir Hussain from Western Assam's Chirang district.

The coal pit disaster at Ksan village took place on December 13, 2018 despite an interim ban on rat-hole coal mining in the state by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) since April 17, 2014.

The tragedy came to light after five miners escaped from the coal pit, flooded by water from a nearby river. The Supreme Court, which is monitoring the rescue operations, has told the government that the trapped miners must be taken out of the mine, "dead" or "alive".

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