Mortal remains of one miner retrieved
Breakthrough in EJH coal mining tragedy

Shillong, June 16: The mortal remains of one of the five miners trapped in a flooded coal pit in Umpleng under East Jaintia Hills district has been retrieved by Navy divers today.
“Rescuers have successfully retrieved one of the bodies from the bottom of the vertical shaft of the 152 meter-deep coal mine today afternoon,” the Deputy Commissioner of East Jaintia Hills district, E Kharmalki informed today.
He also said that the navy divers had detected two objects yesterday believed to be the bodies of the miners. However, the Navy divers could not retrieve the second object detected as efforts to retrieve the first body resulted in churning up the water in the coal pit which greatly affected visibility.
“They are expected to resume retrieval of the second suspected body tomorrow when the visibility under water improves again,” he said.
Meanwhile, Kharmalki said the water level has risen considerably today as there was heavy rainfall in the area last night till today morning. 10 high powered pumps are deployed to dewater the main shaft and a nearby connecting shaft.
A team of 13 personnel of the Indian Navy had last week reinforced the rescue teams of NDRF, SDRF and the Fire Service deployed at the accident site since May 30.
The Indian Navy had brought with them their ROV, an unmanned search vehicle deployed in the deep waters. It may be noted here that a ROV had in 2019 successfully retrieved 3 of the 15 miners trapped deep inside another illegal flooded coal mine located about 20 km further at Lumthari in the same district.
The five miners who were trapped in the coal pit in Umpleng have been identified as people from Assam and Tripura. Six of their co-workers narrowly escaped a deluge when dynamite exploded deep inside the coal pit. They have since been sent to their respective homes in Assam, Kharmalki said.
The district police have arrested Shining Langstang, the mine owner and charged him with violation of the NGT order banning unscientific mining and transportation of coal.
The ‘Sordar’ (mine manager) is on the run and a lookout notice has been issued since he was the one who brought migrant workers from Assam and Tripura to work in the illegal mine, a senior police officer said.