India's slow progress in rescuing 15 trapped coal miners in Meghalaya state has been contrasted with the dramatic rescue of 12 Thai boys and their football coach from a cave last July. Some have called the operation to reach the miners "shameful."

The mine, located at Ksan near the village of Lumthari in Meghalaya, became flooded after 15 miners went down the narrow pit on December 13, 2018.
The mine, located at Ksan near the village of Lumthari in Meghalaya, became flooded after 15 miners went down the narrow pit on December 13, 2018. (Reuters)

Indian navy divers found the body of one of 15 miners who went missing in a flooded coal mine in a remote corner of the country more than a month ago, officials said on Thursday.

Rescuers have been struggling to pump water out of the 370-feet-deep illegal "rat-hole" coal mine in the northeastern state of Meghalaya, where the men have been trapped for 35 days.

"One body has been detected by Indian Navy divers using a remotely operated underwater vehicle," the navy said on Twitter.

"The depth is 160 feet and the body has been pulled up to the mouth of rat-hole mine and shall be extracted out of the mine under the supervision of doctors," the tweet said.

Deadly banned mines

Rat-hole mines killed thousands of workers in Meghalaya before India's environmental court banned the practice in early 2014.

The mine, located at Ksan near the village of Lumthari in Meghalaya, became flooded after 15 miners went down the narrow pit on December 13.

A police official, who asked not to be identified, said a team of doctors, paramedics and ambulances had been sent to help recover the body.

The slow progress of the rescue efforts has been contrasted with the dramatic rescue of 12 Thai boys and their football coach from a flooded cave last July, which drew a massive international audience.

Some have called the operation to reach the miners "shameful."

Source: TRTWorld and agencies