By Riyaz ul Khaliq
Over a month after the collapse of an illegal mine in India, teams on Thursday found the body of one of 15 trapped miners, in uncertain condition.
“One body detected by Indian Navy divers using underwater ROV [remotely operated vehicle] at a depth of approx 60 feet and 210 feet [18.3 and 64 meters] inside a rat-hole mine,” an Indian Navy spokesperson wrote on Twitter.
On Dec. 13, the laborers were caught inside an illegal 113-meter (370-foot) deep mine, after water from a nearby river gushed in, in India’s northeastern state of Meghalaya.
“The depth is 160 feet [49 meters] (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,” the tweet added.
Local authorities said that there has been “no significant change in the water level despite days of intensive pumping.”
“This is expected to cause problems in extracting the bodies from the mine,” said a statement to local media.
Multiple agencies are involved in the rescue and location efforts.
India’s premier National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) is being assisted by the Indian Navy, Odisha Fire Services, and Coal India Limited.