SHILLONG: Officials said that family members of at least five of the 15 people trapped inside a coal mine in Meghalaya were on Friday unable to identify the decomposed body of a victim after looking at the videos recorded underwater.
The body was detected on Wednesday by Navy divers, who used an unmanned remotely-operated vehicle (ROV). The body was found at a depth of around 160 feet inside the main shaft.
It is to be noted that the body was pulled to half way by the ROV but the doctors at the site advised the divers to stop pulling the body further as this could cause the disintegration of the body parts before it could be identified.
Talking to PTI, Operation spokesperson R Susngi said the family members of five of those trapped inside the illegal mine failed to identify the victim. The rescue teams showed the videos captured by the ROV inside the man-sized horizontal holes - often referred to as rat-holes - to the family members.
Of the five families, three were from the Lumthari village near the mine in East Jaintia Hills district, while the two others are from Chirang district in Assam.
Susngi said that family members of other trapped miners hailing from West Garo Hills district have not yet reached the scene of the accident and the authorities are waiting for them in case they could identify the body.
meanwhile, the operation to rescue the trapped miners entered its 37th day on Friday with rescue teams involved in pumping out water from the nearby abandoned mines.
It may be recalled that the 15 men got trapped inside the mine on December 13 when water from nearby Lytein river flooded a network of tunnels in the mine.
(with agency inputs)