Shillong: Four miners have died of suffocation inside hazardous rat-hole coal pits in a remote mining area near the Indo-Bangladesh border in Meghalaya’s South West Khasi Hills district and another was crushed in a quarry, officials said on Saturday.
The incident took place on Thursday evening but the matter was brought to the notice of the district administration yesterday, Deputy Commissioner R Lyngdoh told a news agency.
She said the victims died after inhaling toxic gases formed inside the mine and their bodies have been retrieved and sent for post mortem to Ranikor Community Health Centre.
State special rescue teams rushed to the site and retrieved the bodies last evening, the district administrator said.
In another incident, a stone quarry miner was crushed to death in neighbouring West Khasi Hills district and his co-worker escaped with minor injuries when a slab of stone collapsed over him.
The incident took place yesterday at Mawphyrnai village near Mairang Sub-Division.
At least 100 persons have died in the past six years in mining-related accidents in Meghalaya, the worst being the Nongalbibra accident in July last year in which 15 coal miners were trapped to death in similar rat-hole pits.
The National Green Tribunal, in its order last week, has directed the state government to come out with the truth? on the incident last year even as it called for a complete report on the incident.