Thirteen miners are trapped in a flooded illegal rat hole coal mine situated in East Jaintia Hills, Meghalaya, since Wednesday.
Lethindra Sangma, a police official said, “We are doing our best to reach out to them. Our information is 13 people were inside at the time of flooding.”
In addition, Sylvester Nongtngr, the Superintendent of Police of East Jaintia Hills district, said, “The mine filled with water from inside while they were digging it and it collapsed.”
In 2012, an incident, similar to the one on Wednesday, took place in Meghalaya. Fifteen miners were trapped in a rat hole coal mine in Nangalbibra and the bodies of the victims are still undiscovered.
Although the National Green Tribunal banned rat hole coal mining in Meghalaya in April 2014, the practice continues to be followed across the State.
The Government of Meghalaya, along with the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF,) the police and the district administration, are trying their best to save the 13 people trapped in the mine since Wednesday. The emergency responders are pumping water out of the mine and other measures are being taken to rescue the miners.