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Rain affects hunt for trapped coal miners

Heavy downpour on Thursday affected efforts to locate 15 miners trapped in a water-filled coal mine in Meghalaya's South Garo Hills district for the last seven days.

india Updated: Jul 13, 2012 01:15 IST
HT Correspondent

Heavy downpour on Thursday affected efforts to locate 15 miners trapped in a water-filled coal mine in Meghalaya's South Garo Hills district for the last seven days.


Locals said chances of the miners, all from adjoining Assam, being alive were slim.

The rat-hole coal mine — an unscientific mine with very little manoeuvring space — in Rongsa Awe village got filled with water after the miners punctured the wall of an adjoining flooded abandoned mine.

The mine belongs to the nokma or traditional local chief of Rongsa Awe, 250km from Guwahati.

“Two teams of the National Disaster Relief Force (NDRF) reached the village Wednesday night and began operations from Thursday morning. But heavy downpour hampered the rescue operations,” said RP Marak, deputy commissioner.

The small mine opening has also come in the way of the rescue workers. Only mid-sized adults can crawl through rat-hole mines. District police officials said they were not informed when the mishap occurred last Friday.

"We have arrested mine operator Gurdeep Singh," said superintendent of police Davis Nestell R Marak.