Meghalaya: 2 dead as another illegal coal mine collapses

Two miners were found dead on Sunday after another illegal coal mine collapsed in Meghalaya’s East Jaintia Hills district, police said.

The incident took place at Mooknor, Jalyiah village, about 5 km from the district headquarters.

Authorities came to know of the incident after a relative of one of the miners filed a report that 26-year-old Elad Bareh, had been missing from his home since Friday.

A senior police officer said, “A search was conducted and his body was found in front of a ‘rat-hole’ coal mine. On searching a little deeper, another body was found. The deceased was identified as Monoj Basumatry.”

Police suspected that miners were killed by falling boulders that hit them while they were trying to extract coal.

Meanwhile, rescue operations to evacuate the 15 miners reportedly trapped in another illegal coal mine at Ksan village was affected on Sunday after the high capacity pumps encountered technical glitches.

Moreover, the Supreme Court expressed dissatisfaction over the outcome of the rescue operations at Ksan coal mine.

The illegal coal mining continued despite the National Green Tribunal (NGT) ban on unsafe mining since 2014.