January 26, 2019 / 10:07 AM / 6 months ago

Rescuers find second body from mine tragedy in northeast India

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Rescuers have located a second body from the site of a “rat-hole” mining accident in India’s northeastern state of Meghalaya, a spokesperson for the country’s navy said on Saturday, two days after recovering the first body.

Fifteen miners were trapped on Dec. 13 when their illegal mine was flooded. A court stipulated ban on unregulated mining in the state in 2014 has not stopped such activities.

Thousands of workers in Meghalaya, including children, have been killed in so-called rat-hole mines, in which miners crawl into narrow shafts on bamboo ladders to dig for low-quality coal.

“Indian navy diving team finds second body 280 feet inside the rat-hole mine,” a navy spokesperson said in a tweet.

There was no immediate indication on when the body will be brought to the surface, said a rescue official, who did not want to be named.

Families and relatives of the trapped miners have given up hope that any of them will be found alive.

Reporting by Aftab Ahmed and Sudarshan Varadhan; Editing by Martin Howell and Tom Hogue

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