The Indian Navy on Monday detected the body of a fourth miner who was trapped in the rat hole mine in Meghalaya’s East Jaintia Hills District since December 13. At least 15 miners were trapped in the illegal mine, and three bodies have been discovered so far.
“The fourth body was detected at 230 feet in the same rat-hole coal mine at 4.32 pm,” R Susngi, spokesperson of the East Jaintia Hills district administration said according to the Hindustan Times. He said that the body was “excessively decomposed”.
The Underwater Remotely Operated Vehicle also detected a wooden cart about 20 feet from the body, Susngi added.
Two decomposed bodies were spotted last month, but only one was recovered so far. On Saturday, rescuers detected a third body, but said it was in a highly decomposed state and would completely disintegrate if efforts were made to retrieve it, The Shillong Times reported.
The group of miners had got trapped after river water entered the illegal rat hole mine in East Jaintia Hills district. The Supreme Court had last month told the Centre and the state government to continue rescue operations, even though the state told the bench that the trapped miners may have died.
Multiple government agencies, including the National Disaster Response Force and the Indian Army, are involved in the rescue operations.