Thursday, 24 January, 2019

Illegal coal mining takes place : Meghalaya CM

India miners Illegal coal mining takes place : Meghalaya CM
Jeannette Daniel | 16 December, 2018, 08:58

At least 13 miners were feared dead after being trapped by flooding in an illegal "rat hole" coal mine site in remote northeastern India, police said Friday. National Disaster Response Force workers joined local authorities in the rescue effort. No casualty has been reported so far.

The accident inside the coal pit on Thursday was of significance, especially because the National Green Tribunal (NGT) had ordered an interim ban on "rat-hole" coal mining in the state from April 17, 2014.

"I am touch with the Deputy Commissioner and the SP on a continuous basis and I hope and I pray that we would be able to rescue them", Chief Minister added.

Rescuers were attempting to pump water out of the mine, which flooded Wednesday, police said.

More news: Riot COO Suspended Following Misconduct Investigation

Migrants from poorer parts of the country come to work illegally in the coal mine area, where they earn enough money to pay off powerful people who make sure the mines' guards don't interfere. Police have registered a case against the mine owner, who has not been traced.

According to the police official, several such incidents have happened in the past where rat-hole mines have collapsed on miners workers inside them and killing them on the spot. Earlier in 2012, a similar incident occurred when an illegal coal mine collapsed on 15 miners inside it. The bodies of the miners trapped in it were never recovered.

Last month, an activist, Agnes Kharshiing, was assaulted by people involved in illegal mining when she visited the area to protest their activities.

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