6 killed in illegal Meghalaya coal mine, case filed against employer
Six people were killed when a mechanical structure collapsed at an illegal coal mine in Meghalaya’s East Jaintia Hills district, an official said on Friday.
The accident happened at a mining site the tri-junction of Dienshalalu, Sarkari and Rymbai villages on Thursday night, Deputy Commissioner E Kharmalki.
“Altogether, six persons were killed in the incident. The workers were digging a hole but suddenly their mechanical structure got snapped and broke the digging tool carrier due to which they fell into the pit and died,” he said.
Five of the six deceased have been identified, the official said, adding that most of them are from neighbouring Assam.
The bodies have been taken to the hospital for post-mortem examination, he said.
Kharmalki said it was yet to ascertained if the deceased were engaged in coal or stone mining as “no coal was found in the hole they were digging”.
Police have lodged a case against the employer and investigation is under way.
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) had banned coal mining in the state in 2014 over environmental concerns.
At least 15 labourers were trapped after water from Lytein river inundated an illegal mine in Lumthari village, also in the same district, in December 2018.
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