Meghalaya mine rescue: Navy divers are seeing skeletons, say sources

WION Web Team
New Delhi, Delhi, India Updated: Jan 17, 2019, 05:39 PM(IST)

File photo of the Meghalaya mine rescue in progress. Photograph:( Reuters )

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The 15 miners have been stuck in their illegal 'rat hole' coal mine for 35 days now.

The navy divers helping in the Meghalaya mine rescue are reportedly seeing skeletons through their remotely-operated vehicles, the news agency ANI quoted sources as saying on Thursday. 

The water in the mines has a high sulphur content which can decompose bodies quickly, ANI reported, adding that forensic experts would reach the spot by Thursday evening and suggest a future course of action. 

The 15 miners have been stuck in their illegal "rat hole" coal mine for 35 days now. The five miners who made it out alive have said one of the miners might have punctured an adjacent, flooded mine. 

Rescuers have been struggling since December 13 — when the men got stuck in the mine — to pump water out of the 370-foot-deep mine. 

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On Thursday, navy divers found the body of one of the miners. 

The navy divers detected the body using "underwater ROV (remotely operated vehicles) at a depth of approximately 160 feet and 210 feet" inside the rat-hole mine, a navy spokesperson said on Twitter and attached video grabs of the operation. 

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The body has been pulled up to the mouth of the 370-foot-deep rat-hole mine and would be extricated under the supervision of doctors, the spokesperson said.

A team of doctors has been rushed to the site to advise the rescuers on how to pull the body out safely, they added.

Several agencies including the navy, the National Disaster Response Force, and the air force are involved in the rescue operation.

The Supreme Court had earlier rapped the Meghalaya government over the slow progress of the search operation.

(With inputs from PTI)

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