6 die in collapse of abandoned mine in northeast India News Staff

GAUHATI, India — Six miners died after being trapped in an abandoned coal mine that collapsed in India’s remote northeast, a state official said Friday.

Their bodies were recovered on Friday, a day after the six were trapped in the mine in Meghalaya state, said E. Kharmalki, district magistrate of the East Jaintia Hills district.

The miners, all young men, were trapped at a depth of 367 feet (112 metres) when the mine flooded and collapsed. Army and air force personnel and members of disaster response agencies participated in the failed rescue effort.

Meghalaya has scores of small “rat hole” mines where workers extract coal in hazardous conditions. The coal is placed in boxes which are hoisted to the surface with pullies.

India’s Green Tribunal has banned coal mining in Meghalaya state to protect the environment, but some villagers continue to mine illegally.

In December 2018, 15 miners were killed inside one such mine in the Ksan area of Meghalaya.

Wasbir Hussain, The Associated Press

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