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Meghalaya: 5 from Assam & Tripura feared trapped in East Jaintia Hills coal mine

GUWAHATI: Five persons from the states of Assam and Tripura are feared trapped in a coal mine in the East Jaintia Hills district of Shillong.

Jagpal Singh Dhanoa, SP of East Jaintia Hills, issuing a release, stated that six persons came forward as eyewitnesses that led to the mishap on May 21 around 5 pm.

“As per eyewitness(es) account due to the sudden explosion of dynamite, 5 persons got trapped in the sudden rush of water into the mine. Within no time the mine was inundated,” Dhanoia stated in his release.

Abdul Karim, Abdul Kalam, along with 2 more unidentified persons from Assam are missing. One from Tripura — Shyamcharan Debbarma — also got stuck in the calamity.

Nizam Ali, Sordar of the mine, reportedly threatened the survivors with dire consequences and chased them away from the mine.

Based on the eyewitnesses’ accounts, a case has been registered at the Khliehriat police station and a manhunt is underway to nab the Sordar.

Earlier, one Karimul Bari had tipped off the Cachar police on Monday that one of his neighbours died in a coal mine accident in Meghalaya two days ago. Bari further claimed that the bodies of five to seven labourers were buried 500 feet inside the mine.

Meghalaya police tweeted that “information has emanated from SP Silchar that 6 persons from Assam are trapped in a coal mine in the East Jaintia Hills.”

Meanwhile, Meghalaya Revenue and Disaster Management Minister Kyrmen Shylla has confirmed about having received reports of labourers being trapped in a coal pit at Umpleng in East Jaintia Hills district.

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The Minister who is in charge of the disaster management said that the news about the mishap was relayed to the SP by the Assam police.

He informed that the Superintendent of Police and the Deputy Commissioner have already been sent to Umpleng to authenticate the report and to see if any such tragedy has struck.

Meanwhile, the SDRF has also been also put on stand-by.

Illegal rat-hole coal mining is allegedly rampant in Meghalaya despite a ban imposed by the National Green Tribunal in 2014.

6 labourers from Assam lost their lives in a mining mishap that took place in January this year. In December 2018, at least 17 labourers, mostly from Assam, were killed in a flooded coal mine at Ksan, also in East Jaintia Hills.

17 labourers, mostly from Assam, were killed in a flooded coal mine at Ksan, also in East Jaintia Hills.

According to our sources, families of the ‘missing’ miners have also taken the matter to the police administration of Cachar.

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