Shillong, January 20: The Indian Navy on Sunday abandoned all the efforts to pull out the decomposed body of miners that were spotted some days ago inside a coal mine in East Jaintia Hills District of Meghalaya. The bodies of the victims were spotted using a remotely-operated vehicle (ROV), an unmanned machine, at a depth of 160 feet inside the mine. From December 13, at least 15 miners are trapped inside after one of them unintentionally punctured the wall of the mine, leading to its flooding. What Is Rat-Hole Mining? 15 Meghalaya Miners Trapped in Illegal Mine Waits for Help From Government.
Speaking to news agency PTI, Operations spokesperson R Susngi said, "The Navy today suspended the pulling of the remains, which they had been trying since yesterday evening, as too much disintegration (of the body) took place with every pull by the ROV jaw." He further added that divers are waiting for further instructions of the government. Miners Trapped in Meghalaya's Illegal 'Rat-Hole' Mine Feared Dead: Reports.
A multi-agency operation has failed to generate any result as the water levels had not gone down despite de-watering the main shaft where miners are trapped. More than 52 lakh litres of water was pumped out by the Coal India, but it was not enough to bring the water levels down. The Kirloskar Brothers Limited and Odisha Fire Services had also joined the rescue operations had managed to pump out over 45 lakh litres of water and 4.5 lakh litres of water, respectively.
Some family members of the victims on Saturday urged the rescuers to recover the decomposed body so that they can complete their last rites. The families of the victims were also brought on site to help in identifying the victims from the video shot underwater using, unmanned, ROV. Meghalaya Mining Tragedy: Bodies ‘Falling Apart’ as Rescue Operations Continue, Families of Miners Demand Decent Burial.
"It is difficult to retrieve the remains detected (by the ROV) without disintegration as wanted by the family members and shown in the recorded video taken by the Navy's ROV," East Jaintia Hills district Deputy Commissioner F M Dopth said.
Meanwhile, it is likely that the Meghalaya government will notify the Supreme Court to continue the search-and-rescue operations for trapped miners. Earlier, the top court had expressed disappointment with the rescue efforts and criticised the Meghalaya government for not seeking Indian Army’s help
(With Inputs from PTI)