13 labourers trapped in illegal mine in Meghalaya feared dead

Rescue work started on Thursday, case of illegal mining registered against unknown persons

By PTI in Shillong
  • Published 14.12.18, 5:53 PM
  • Updated 14.12.18, 5:53 PM
  • a min read
  •  
The National Green Tribunal banned unscientific and unsafe rat-hole coal mining in Meghalaya since 2014. iStock photo

At least 13 labourers trapped in an illegal coal mine in Meghalaya's East Jaintia hills district and feared dead, police said Thursday.

The incident was reported to district authorities on Thursday morning and rescue work is on, superintendent of police Sylvester Nongtynger said.

"According to information received, 13 people were trapped inside an illegal coal mine at Ksan village under the jurisdiction of Saipung police station," the SP said.

The National Green Tribunal banned unscientific and unsafe rat-hole coal mining in Meghalaya since 2014.

Nongtynger said the labourers were in the mine near Lytein river around three days ago and because of the overflowing of water they are all feared dead.

Water is being pumped out and efforts are on to identify the people behind the illegal mining.

A case has been registered against unknown persons for their involvement in illegal mining.

Disaster management minister Kyrmen Shylla said: "We are waiting for a report from the district authorities in this regard.”

This is not the first time that labourers engaged in illegal mining of coal have been trapped in a mine, a police officer said.

At least 15 miners were trapped in such an illegal rat-hole coal mine near the Nangalbibra area in South Garo Hills in 2012. The bodies were never found, officials said.