Four miners from Assam were found dead in Yonglok village under Tamlu in Longleng district of Nagaland after reportedly inhaling some toxic gas or due to mudslides inside an abandoned coalmine on Saturday.
The deceased have been identified as Jiten Tanti (40), Krishna Gogoi (32), Tutu Deka (28), all from Assam’s Sivasagar district and Shusan Phukon (37) of Charaideo district of Assam.
According to sources, on Sunday, the incident occurred at around 4 pm.
The bodies were retrieved from the abandoned coalmine on Sunday and handed over the families at noon in presence of Yonglok Village Council members and the police.
Longleng deputy commissioner John Tsulise Sangtam confirmed that four bodies were recovered from the abandoned coalmine.
Sangtam said as per report from Tamlu Additional Deputy Commissioner C. Konyak, the four victims had gone to the coalmine to get back their belongings which they had left there earlier.
He said some toxic gas or mudslides inside the abandoned coalmine must have led to the death of the four miners.
Sangtam also said the coalmine was left abandoned for many years.
The DC said the bodies were handed over to family members without conducting postmortem. He said the family members of the victims did not a postmortem done on the bodies.
When contacted, SP Longleng Swarnbikai said she got information about the incident at around 9 pm on Saturday and immediately informed the Yonglok police.
The SP said the victims had reportedly gone to the abandoned coalmine to collect their belongings. The Nagaland government had banned illegal coal mining in the state last month.
She did not rule out possibility of the death due to some toxic gas.
The incident comes after the December 13, 2018 incident in Meghalaya’s East Jaintia Hills in which 15 coal miners died in an illegal coal mine.