A miner, whose body was retrieved from a 370-foot deep coal mine in Meghalaya's East Jaintia Hills district after over 40 days of getting trapped, has been identified as Amir Hussain of Assam's Chirang district, officials said on Friday.
In a joint operation, the Indian Navy and the National Disaster Response Force pulled the body out of the mine's shaft on Thursday, nine days after it was spotted.
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"The body retrieved yesterday from Ksan has been identified as Amir Hussain of Chirang district in Assam," East Jaintia Hills District Deputy Commissioner FM Dopth said.
The body was identified by his wife and mother who arrived in Khliehriat, the district headquarter, earlier on Friday, he said.
Dopth said the district authorities were trying to help the family in transporting Hussain's remains to their home for the last rites.
Hussain is one of the 15 miners who got trapped in the mine on December 13. The incident drew the nation's attention to illegal coal mining in the northeastern state at the cost of human lives despite a ban imposed by the National Green Tribunal.
Operation spokesperson R Sungi said the Indian Navy continued the underwater search with the unmanned remotely controlled vehicle (ROV), but no other bodies had been found.
He said the multi-agency operations to de-water the nearby abandoned mines also continued and Coal India Ltd, Kirloskar Brothers Ltd and Odhisa Fire Services had discharged over 71 lakh litres of water in the past 24 hours.
Anxious family members of the trapped miners are camping in the district headquarters and visiting the site frequently for any news of their loved ones, Susngi said.
The owner of the mine, Krip Chullet, was arrested from his home on December 14. His accomplices are on the run.
The Meghalaya government has released Rs 1 lakh interim relief for the families of the trapped miners.
The Supreme Court is monitoring the rescue mission and the matter will come up for hearing on Monday.