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13 miners trapped in Meghalaya

By The Assam Tribune

SHILLONG, Dec 13 - Thirteen miners were trapped inside a coal pit filled with gallons of water in East Jaintia Hills district today, the police said. Officials said their chances of survival were bleak.

The accident inside the coal pit is significant as the National Green Tribunal (NGT) had ordered an interim ban on �rat-hole� coal mining in Meghalaya from April 17, 2014. A rescue operation was on to get the trapped miners alive.

�As per verbal information received, 13 miners, including three locals of Lumthari area, were trapped inside the coal pit,� Sylvester Nongtnger, the police chief of East Jaintia Hills, told this news agency.

�It appeared the miners resumed mining coal three to four days ago. Our first step is to rescue those people trapped inside the pit. We are pumping the water out of the pit with the help of generators, but the water level has not receded,� the police officer said.

However, Nongtnger said that chances of survival of the miners were very bleak. �Efforts are on to identify the coal mine owner. We have already registered a case against the owner,� he said.

Coal mine accidents are common in the mountainous State due to unscientific mining commonly known �rat hole mining�. � IANS

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