Rescue operations being carried out to evacuate the 15 coal miners trapped inside a flooded coal pit at Ksan village in Meghalaya's East Jaintia Hills on Jan 7, 2019. (Photo: IANS)
The Indian Navy has resumed its operation to retrieve the decomposed body of one of the trapped miners detected inside a 370-feet deep illegal coal mine in Meghalaya's East Jaintia Hills district but failed to achieve success. Navy divers, who had suspended their operation on Sunday on the advice of the district administration, along with NDRF personnel, used remotely operated vehicles. After day-long efforts, they only managed to move the body a few metres from where it was left on Sunday and brought it near the bottom of the main shaft, officials said.
"The body has been pulled near the bottom of the main shaft... The process to bring the body to the top will take some more time due to the presence of some obstructions inside the mine," spokesperson of the operation R Susngi said.
Efforts to retrieve the body would continue Wednesday, he added. The Navy personnel had earlier managed to pull the body, seen 200 ft along the horizontally dug small hole, about half way to the bottom of the shaft. But, it could not be brought out due to apprehension that further moving it could result in its disintegration, Susngi said.
Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma was briefed on the development at the site and he is constantly monitoring the situation, a senior home official said.
The district authorities are waiting for the family members of at least seven miners trapped inside to identify the retrieved body, he said.
At least 15 miners are trapped in the rat hole mine at Khlooryngksan area of the district since December 13 which has led to a multi-agency operation involving the Navy, the NDRF and leading firms in the country to join the efforts to rescue them in the longest such mission in the country.
Close on heels of Navy's Sunday decision, Conrad had on Monday suspended operations to retrieve the body to avoid disintegration of the decomposed corpse.
The Navy had also spotted several skeletons in the flooded mines.
Coal India Ltd, Odhisa Fire Service and the KSP continued dewatering the nearby abandoned mines and the total discharge of water since yesterday was 80.15 lakh litres, Susngi said.