Shillong ( Meghalaya), May 31 : 5 miners from Assam and Tripura , involved in illegal rat-hole mining in Meghalaya’s East Jaintia Hills district, were feared trapped inside a coal mine after it collapsed.
According to East Jaintia HIlls district SP jagpal Dhanoa ,based on information received from Superintendent of Police, Silchar about 6 mine workers being trapped in a coal mine in East Jaintia Hills on Sunday night. the district police were able to identify the probable location of incident at 6 am this morning .
Higher authorities were appraised about the probable incident and in collaboration with District Administration search and rescue operation was launched. State Disaster Response Team also reached the location of the incident .
While the search and rescue operation was on under the supervision Of Inspector General of Police (Law & Order), 6 persons came forward with eye witness account of the events that transpired on yesterday night on Monday evening , the SP said .
As per eye witness 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.
According to SP Dhanoa ,the main culprit as per eye witnesses is Sordar 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.
The survivors are being looked after by police to ensure their security and Further, all efforts are on to arrest the Sordar of the mine, the SP said .
Till filing of this report one person has been detained for questioning but he has tested positive for Covid-19 and is being kept under guard at Isolation Centre at Khliehriat.
Of the five three have been identified as – Abdul Karim of Boko, Assam, Abdul Kalam of Barpeta, Assam and Shyamcharan Debbarma, Tripura, The other two unidentified persons are from Silchar, Assam.
Coal mining is banned in Meghalaya due to the National Green Tribunal (NGT) ban on the activity in state since 2014.