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Thu, 21 Mar 2019

Northeast Today

Latest Developments in Labourers Trapped in Meghalaya Coal Mine

Latest Developments in Labourers Trapped in Meghalaya Coal Mine
December 27
14:39 2018

NET Bureau

The Meghalaya government has said that it is doing its best to rescue the 15 labourers trapped in a coal mine in East Jaintia Hills district since December 13.

The ruling NPP-BJP in Meghalaya on Wednesday contested Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s jibe on Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the issue and said it is doing everything to bring the victims out of the rat-hole mine. Here are the latest developments:

* Meghalaya chief minister Conrad K Sangma, without mentioning Rahul Gandhi’s comment, said there is no inaction and that the administration and the NDRF had really worked hard to trace the miners, but, unfortunately, the operation did not yield any result yet.

* So far, 12 lakh litres of water has been pumped out of the mine. The chief minister also hoped that the high-powered pumps would be available soon. The chief minister has written to Coal India requesting for the high-powered pumps.

The 15 labourers went to work at the mine in Meghalaya on December 13 and have been underground ever since, and the chances of their survival look slim. There has been no contact with the workers but their families are clinging to hopes that they are in an air pocket.

* The rescue operations was suspended on Sunday following flash floods from a nearby river.

* A team of about 100 National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) experts has been camping at the mine site but their operations have been hampered by lack of sophisticated equipment, SK Shastri, NDRF commandant leading the operations, said.

* The river is also still pouring into the shaft making it dangerous to send down divers, according to Shastri, who added that the collapse of the tunnel walls could have caused leaks into other mines.

Police arrested a man, Krip Chullet, in connection with the mishap who admitted that he was the owner of the 370-foot-deep illegal quarry. Two mine managers, Mohesh and James Sukhlain, are still on the run.

Around 20 miners had entered the 370-foot mine on December 13. After reaching the bottom of the pit, they entered the horizontal tunnels, often termed “rat-holes”, as each just about fits one person. Five people were able to climb out of the flooded mine, leaving the others behind.

 * Mining was banned in the mineral-rich state in 2014 after local communities said it was polluting water bodies. But the practice continues with locals illegally extracting coal using dangerous “rat hole” mines

At least 15 miners were killed after they were trapped in another flooded rat-hole mine in Meghalaya in 2012.  Their bodies were never recovered.

 

 

Source: The Times of India

Image Source: Scroll.in

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