After days of relentless struggle, the multi-agency rescue operation led by the Indian Navy finally managed to pull the body of a miner out from the ill-fated coal mine in Meghalaya’s East Jaintia Hills on Thursday.

As per official sources, the body recovered from the coal mine could be that of another miner and not the one detected by the Navy divers on January 16.

The bone of contention is the fact that the state government in it latest status report filed in the Supreme Court had mentioned that body parts of the detected miner including its left wrist and left leg below the knee had disengaged, while the body retrieved on Thursday is near intact neck below.

The body which was detected on January 16 took a whole week for the rescue agencies to finally bring the body up to the surface.

The detected miner’s body was almost out two days back but as the body was being pulled up by the underwater Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV), the decomposed body hit some abandoned pipes and fell back in.

Meanwhile, FM Dopth, DC, East Jaintia Hills told Northeast Live that the body has now been kept at the Civil Hospital in Khleiriat for post-mortem. Sources said, even after the face of the body is distorted, it can still be identified without being sent for DNA test.

Authorities have asked relatives and families of the trapped miners from West Garo Hills and Chirang to come to Khleiriat to identify the body.

At least 14 more miners are trapped inside the ill fated coal mine and according to the Meghalaya government’s status report submitted in the Supreme Court, bodies of the other miners are supposed to be right behind the body of the detected miner.

According to the officials, Indian Navy has sent the ROV back again in to detect the remaining bodies of the miners.

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