Five miners from Assam trapped in a coal mine in East Jaintia Hills district

file photo

Shillong, May 3: At least five migrant workers are trapped in a coal mine at Umpleng area in East Jaintia Hills district, authorities informed.

The state government has directed the East Jaintia Hills district Deputy Commissioner, E .Kharmlaki to institute a magisterial inquiry on the mishap and to file an FIR against whoever is involved.

The magisterial inquiry will be headed by Malthus Sangma, the additional Deputy Commissioner of East Jaintia Hills.

East Jaintia Hills Deputy Commissioner, E. Kharmalki said that the State Disaster and Relief Force have been rushed to the spot and rescue work started on Monday, but due to inclement weather it had to be stopped and would continue on Tuesday.

Superintendent of Police, East Jaintia Hills district, Jagpal Singh Dhanoa, said he had received the information about six mine workers being trapped in a coal mine in the district on the night of May 30 from Superintendent of Police, Silchar.

“The district police were able to identify the probable location of incident at 6 am on Monday. The delay in identification of probable site was due to inclement weather, poor light condition and non-availability of any eye witness account,” the police official said.

Out of the missing miners, Dhanoa said three have been identified as: Abdul Karim of Assam’s Boko, Abdul Kalam of Assam’s Barpeta district, Shyamcharan Debbarma of Tripura, while two others are unidentified persons from Assam’s Silchar.

Quoting eyewitnesses, Dhanoa said, “Due to the sudden explosion of dynamite, five persons got trapped in the sudden rush of water into the mine and within no time the mine was inundated.”

The authorities have identified the Sordar or manager of the mine as Nizam Ali who is absconding now.

“Instead of helping the miners Ali chased away the survivors from the mining site,” Dhanoa said, quoting eyewitnesses.

On the other hand, Home Minister Lahkmen Rymbui said that the accident had occurred in an abandoned mine, which is owned by one K Chyrmang, who has been detained for questioning.

“Police have detained Chyrmang for questioning, but unfortunately, Chyrmang’s swab samples tested positive for COVID-19 infection and is now being kept under isolation,” Rymbui said.

“The state police are on a manhunt to nab the Sordar to find out the facts of the incident,” the Home Minister said.

A similar mishap at Sorkari near Dienshlalu Village in the same district claimed the lives of six Assam miners in January this year.

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