Second body fished out of M’laya mine

Second body fished out of M’laya mine
File photo of a rescue operation in progress
Correspondent SHILLONG, JUN 24 | Publish Date: 6/24/2021 12:53:20 PM IST

The Indian Navy on Thursday pulled out a second body from the 500 feet deep flooded coal pit at Krem Ule, Umpleng area in Meghalaya’s East Jaintia Hills district where three miners still remain trapped since May 30, an official said.

The Indian Navy divers were assisted by the National Disaster Response Force and State Disaster Response Force, State Fire and Emergency Services and officials from the East Jaintia Hills district in the rescue efforts.

 “The deep divers of the Indian Navy have pulled out another highly decomposed unidentified body to the water surface from 120 feet below and then taken out the body in a bucket-type container to the higher grounds this afternoon,” a rescue official said.

The rescue official said the recovered body was detected with the help of a ROV SONAR system. This is the second body to be pulled out of the coal mine – 26 days after five migrant coal miners were trapped inside the rat-hole coal pit - by the Indian Navy divers after they retrieved the first unidentified body on June 16.

Interestingly, none of the family members of the trapped miners have come forward to identify the body which is lying at the Khliehriat morgue.

The trapped miners had been identified as Anowarul Islam Bharbhuiya of Assam’s Cachar district and Abdul Shukkur of Assam’s Karimganj district, Abdul Karim of Assam’s Boko, Abdul Kalam of Assam’s Barpeta district and ShyamcharanDebbarma of Tripura.

Six other migrant miners from Assam managed to escape the tragedy and they were later escorted by Meghalaya police to their respective homes in Assam. Deputy Commissioner of East Jaintia Hills district, Ethelbert Kharmalki said an inquest of the second body has been conducted by the Executive Magistrate at the spot and the body has been transported to the Community Health Centre morgue at Khliehriat for autopsy.  

 “The relatives of the victims from Cachar, Barpeta and Kamrup (Rural), Assam and Kailashahar, North Tripura District has been informed through their respective Superintendent to Police by WT message to inform the immediate family members of the victims trapped in the coal mine to identify the retrieved bodies,”  he said.

Meanwhile, during the dewatering process about 5.6 lakh liters of water has been pumped out from shaft No. 1 and about 12.15 lakh liters of water has also been pumped out from the shaft No. 2, he informed.

Earlier, Meghalaya police had arrested Shining Langstang, the current owner of the illegal coal mine at Umpleng area, while K. Chyrmang, the former owner of the mine was also detained by the police for questioning. 

Meanwhile, the whereabouts of Nizam Uddin, the manager of the illegal coal mine who has been absconding following the mining tragedy, remained untraced, even as the Meghalaya police have issued a lookout notice for him.

Unscientific ‘rat-hole’ coal mining has been banned in the unregulated mines in Meghalaya since April 2014 by a National Green Tribunal order, but illegal mines like this one have flourished freely due to poor enforcement of the ban.

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