6 miners feared dead in Meghalaya coal mine

National Green Tribunal had banned rathole coal mining in State from April 2014

At least six labourers are feared dead in a coal mine accident in Meghalaya’s East Jaintia Hills district. All are from Assam.

The police in southern Assam’s Cachar district were on Monday tipped off by one Karimul Bari, who said one of his neighbours died in the coal mine accident in Meghalaya two days ago. The bodies of five-seven labourers were buried 500 feet down the mine shaft, he added.

Assam’s Director General of Police Bhaskar Jyoti Mahanta said the Cachar police have been asked to coordinate with their East Jaintia Hills counterpart to look into the incident.

“We received information from the Assam police about six miners trapped in the mine, which has been identified as Sutnga interior under Umpleng. Info from SP Silchar that 6 persons from Assam are trapped in a coal mine in EJ Hills, a Meghalaya police official said.

In April 2014, the National Green Tribunal banned the hazardous rathole coal mining in Meghalaya. But mining continued illegally under the noses of officials, activists in the State said.

In December 2018, at least 17 miners — mostly from Assam — were killed in a submerged coal mine during an illegal operation.

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