At least six miners mostly from Assam area trapped and feared dead in a coal mine in Meghalaya’s East Jaintia Hills district.
As per reports, the incident took place in the Umpleng area of the district on Sunday.
“Information has emanated from SP Silchar that 6 persons from Assam are trapped in a coal mine in EJ Hills,” Meghalaya Police said in a tweet on Monday.
East Jaintia Hills Superintendent of Police (SP) Jagpal Singh Dhanoa said that three miners have been identified of which two are from Assam and one from Tripura.
The identified miners are Abdul Karim from Boko, Abdul Kalam from Barpeta, Shyamcharan Debbarma from Tripura.
“As per eye witness account due to the sudden explosion of dynamite, five persons got trapped in the sudden rush of water into the mine. Within no time the mine was inundated,” SP Dhanoa said.
“The main culprit as per eyewitnesses is Sardar by name of Nizam Ali who did nothing to rescue the trapped labourers. Rather Nizam Ali threatened the survivors with dire consequences and chased them away from the mining site,” he said.
Based on the account of the eyewitness, an FIR has been registered at Khliehriat Police Station.
Cachar SP Vaibhab Nimbolkar Chandrakant said that they received information about the incident on Monday.
“We have received information that the bodies of five-seven workers 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.
In January this year, at least six coal mine workers from Assam have killed a coal mine in the East Jaintia Hills district.
The six coal miners had fallen to a depth of 150 feet after the machine they were using to dig a tunnel broke.
In December 2018, at least 17 miners — mostly from Assam — were killed in a submerged coal mine during illegal mining.