Shillong: Some six persons from Assam were reportedly killed in an accident that occurred in an illegal coal mine near Rymbai in the East Jaintia Hills (EJH) district of Meghalaya on late Thursday night.
The victims, who hailed from Karimganj district in Assam, were said to be digging a tunnel. The machine they were using for the work broke apart and they fell 150 feet deep inside the mine hole.
Local sources confirmed that the bodies were retrieved on Friday morning and kept at a hospital in Khliehriat in the district for autopsy.
An official from the district authority said that out of six, the identities of five were known so far. Their families were contacted, the official added.
Earlier, on December 13, 2018, in a similar incident, at least 15 people were killed in a rat-hole mine at Ksan village in EJH. The incident triggered nationwide outrage against such mining activities.
Though in 2014, the National Green Tribunal had issued an order banning mining in the state, specifically mining through the rat-hole technique, illegal mining continued in the state.