In search for survivors in Meghalaya’s rat hole mine, Navy divers find skeletons
Experts heel high Sulphur content in the mines may have led led to the decomposition of bodies. Forensic Experts have been called for DNA test to identify and match bodies.
Navy divers and underwater remotely operated vehicles have spotted a few skeletons during the search for 15 trapped men in a rat hole mine at Khloo Ryngksan in Meghalaya’s East Jaintia Hills district, Navy sources said.
Senior government officials, who did not want to be identified, said that high Sulphur content in the mines may have led to the decomposition of bodies. Forensic Experts have been called for DNA test to identify and match the skeletal remains. The team is likely to arrive by this evening.
Watch: Navy’s ROV spots body in the Meghalaya mine where 15 men are trapped
A joint rescue operation involving local workers, NDRF and Indian Navy among others, with some equipment flown in from outside the state, has been on at the illegal mine, which was flooded on December 13 trapping the workers.
Earlier in the morning, the remotely operated vehicles (ROV) spotted a body, which is yet to be taken out. “Yes, the Navy operated ROV has found a dead body,” said SS Syiemlieh, additional deputy commissioner, East Jaintia Hills.
Confirming the detection of a body, the Indian Navy tweeted, “The depth is 160 feet (and not 60 feet) and the body has been pulled up to the mouth of rat-hole mine and shall be extracted out of the mine under the supervision of doctors.”
At least 200 rescuers from the Navy, NDRF, the Odisha Fire Service, State Disaster Response Fund, states Fire service and others from CIL and KBL are involved in the multi-agency rescue operations.
The Supreme Court last week pulled up the state government for its inaction against illegal miners while saying that rescues efforts must continue.
The top court asked the Centre and the Meghalaya government to take help of experts and continue efforts to rescue the miners. “Carry on with your rescue efforts, what if all or at least some are still alive? Miracles do happen,” a bench headed by Justice AK Sikri said.