Navy divers Thursday found a body in an illegal rat-hole coal mine in Meghalaya's East Jaintia Hills where 15 miners were trapped since December 13, officials said.
"One body detected by Indian Navy divers using underwater ROV at a depth of approx 160 feet and 210 feet inside a rat-hole mine," a Navy spokesperson said in a statement.
The body has been brought up to the mouth of the rat-hole mine and will be extracted out of it under the supervision of doctors, the officials said, adding the rescue operations were going on.
The district authorities, however, are tight-lipped on the development.
On December 13, water from nearby Lytein River flooded a network of tunnels in the 370-foot-deep coal mine in Lumthari village of East Jaintia Hills, trapping 15 men and prompting a multiple-agency rescue attempt.
In the Khloo-Ryngksan area, where the ill-fated mine is located at the western side of a small hillock, the Lytein river crisscrosses the valley for over 2 km.