First body pulled out of flooded mine in Meghalaya 

Sources said the body, which was detected on January 17 was retrieved around 3 pm on Thursday from 170-feet deep water. The body had slipped from the Navy's underwater remotely operated vehicle on Tuesday.

Navy divers and NDRF personnel on Thursday pulled out the first body of trapped miners from the flooded coal mine in Meghalaya, 42 days after they got caught inside.

Official spokesperson M Susngi said a six-member team of rescuers, comprising three from Navy, two from NDRF and a government hospital staff went inside the shaft with an inflatable boat, a body bag and other equipment and pulled out the body around 3 pm from 170-feet deep water.

A total of 15 miners got trapped in the 350-feet deep mine in East Jaintia Hills district on December 13 after they entered it to extract coal. The miners dug horizontal holes inside the vertical shaft and crawled inside to extract coal from the illegal mine. They got trapped after water entered from nearby shafts, which probably are interconnected underneath.  

The rescuers, however, did not say whether it was the same body which was detected on January 17 and slipped from the Navy's underwater remotely operated vehicle.

The body was handed over to Saipung police station and a post-mortem was conducted.

The shaft is 355 feet deep vertically and then there is a 210 feet long horizontal rat hole, which the miners had dug to extract coal, officials said. Coal mining is still on in Meghalaya despite a ban by National Green Tribunal in 2014. 
 
The body has not yet been identified. 

Disengaged

The navy divers on January 17 had detected a body and pulled it up to 100 feet. A status report to the Supreme Court about the multi-agency operation on Monday said that navy divers were asked to shift from the main shaft as the skull, left wrist and the legs from the knee had already disengaged from the body.

Family members of at least four victims requested the district administration to pull out the bodies for last rites.

Meanwhile, efforts to pump out water from the flooded mine in search of rest of the bodies, continued even on Thursday.

ALSO READ: Poverty forces ‘rat-hole’ miners into death traps
                       Rat hole’ mining dynamics puzzle top rescue agencies

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First body pulled out of flooded mine in Meghalaya 

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