First body pulled out of Meghalaya coal mine

'After all the hardship and our dedicated effort, finally this body was recovered from 183 feet 9 inches air column and about 170 feet water column,' said NDRF officer SK Singh.

Published: 24th January 2019 04:15 PM  |   Last Updated: 24th January 2019 04:53 PM   |  A+A-

Meghalaya miners

Search operations for the trapped miners underway in East Jaintia Hills of Meghalaya. (Photo | ANI/Twitter)

Express News Service

GUWAHATI: A Navy team on Thursday pulled out a body from a 370 deep feet flooded coal mine in Meghalaya's East Jaintia Hills district where 14 miners still remain trapped since December 13.

ALSO READ: Not abandoning operation to pull out 15 miners trapped in Meghalaya rat-hole mine: Centre tells SC

"In a joint operation of NDRF and Indian Navy from 9 am to 3 pm today, finally we could be able to retrieve one unidentified body of a trapped miner from the main shaft at Ksan rat-hole mine No 26 at about 3 pm," NDRF officer SK Singh said.

He said initially three personnel – two from Navy and one from NDRF – had gone down into the main shaft. Later, three others from NDRF, Navy and a hospital staff went down after all safety measures such as inflatable boat, body bag and other equipment were provided by NDRF.

“After all the hardship and our dedicated effort, finally this body was recovered from 183 feet 9 inches air column and about 170 feet water column totaling about 355 feet vertically deep in the main shaft and then about 210 feet horizontal from a rat hole,” Singh said.

ALSO READ: Meghalaya miners' families request for retrieving decomposed body

“The packed body was pulled out from the shaft and handed over to the police in the presence of senior officials of the district administration. Later, the body was dispatched to Civil Hospital, Khliehriat for post-mortem and further necessary action,” he added.

The tragedy occurred due to flooding on December 13 last year when the 15 miners had gone down 380-ft into the coalmine. Five others had managed to survive. One Saheb Ali, who is among the survivors, claimed 22 miners, not 20, had entered the mine that day. 

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