Meghalaya Miners: Second Body Found 280 Feet Inside the Mine
The Indian Navy diving team, on Saturday, 26 January, found the second body of a miner 280 feet inside the mine at Ksan near Lytein River in East Jaintia Hills, Meghalaya where 15 miners had been trapped since 13 December 2018, ANI reported.
According to PTI, the body is decomposed and efforts are on to retrieve it to the top of the mine, using the Navy's remotely operated vehicle (ROV), with the help of the National Disaster Response Force.
The Indian Navy had recovered the first body from the mine on Thursday, 24 January.
The body has been identified as belonging to Amir Hussain from Assam’s Chirang district, officials confirmed on Friday. East Jaintia Hills Deputy Commissioner Federick Dopth said, “The body was identified by his wife and mother. Help is being organised to transport the body to their residence after completion of all formalities.”
The 30-year-old is survived by his mother, wife and three young children (aged 2, 7 and 9 years). According to his family, he had worked in the mines before for a month in 2018 and earned around Rs 60,000.
Noor Kalam, Hussain’s maternal uncle who accompanied his mother and his wife, told The Indian Express, “The face was disfigured and we could not identify it... But he had two tabiz (lockets) on his neck and we identified him through that. We also carried a photo of Amir and gave it to the officials here. They were convinced that it was him.” Kalam added, “We broke down on seeing the disfigured body. But, of course, there was nothing to be scared of – he was our own boy, and had suffered a lot of pain. We will set off for our village once the formalities are completed.”
According to an earlier report, the body recovered from the flooded 370-feet deep mine had been sent for postmortem. The highly decomposed body was pulled to the water surface by an underwater remotely operated vehicle (UROV) and then taken out.
The miners were trapped after water gushed into the illegal mine located in Ksan village, about 130 km from the state capital Shillong. Only five managed to escape.
Earlier on 16 January, a decomposed body of a miner was spotted, however the operation to recover the body was abandoned as it led to "too much disintegration of the body."
The families of four of the 15 miners had urged the rescuers to retrieve the decomposed body so that they could perform the last rites.
The owner of the mine, Krip Chullet, was arrested from his home on 14 December. His accomplices are on the run.
(This is a developing story. With inputs from IANS, ANI and Indian Express.)