5 trapped after explosion in Meghalaya mine

Five workers, four from Assam and one from Tripura, went missing after an illegal coal mine in Meghalaya’s East Jaintia Hills (EJH) district got flooded following a dynamite explosion on Sunday evening, police said.

Jagpal Singh Dhanoa, SP of EJH district, said, “The main culprit, according to the eyewitnesses is the ‘sordar’ Nizam Ali, who did nothing to rescue the trapped labourers. Rather, Ali threatened the survivors with dire consequences and chased them away from the mining site.”

Police have registered a case under IPC sections and the Mines and Mineral (Development and Regulation) Act and Disaster Management Act, Dhanoa added.

Dhanoa said it appears the mine was operating illegally. “There are 6-7 survivors. According to them, at least five workers got trapped inside. It has been raining incessantly for the last two days. Therefore, pumping water out… is proving to be difficult…” he added.

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