Three coal miners killed in illegal rat hole mine in Ledo
Three people believed to have been involved in extracting coal from an illegal rat hole mine in Ledo in Assam have died from suspected poison gas inhalation, police said on Monday. The incident happened on Sunday night when the miners entered the illegally mined rat hole mine on a remote hill in Tinsukia district near the Assam-Arunachal border to mine coal, the superintendent of Tinsukia police, Debojit Deuri.
Police have so far arrested five people in connection with it, he said.
”We arrested the five people as they tried to bury the bodies and cover up the incident. We will take strict measures against these illegal coal mining activities,” he said.
It is suspected that there was a methane leak inside the mine which caused the death of the miners. Their bodies were sent for autopsies, Deuri said. The deceased miners, all under the age of 30, have been identified. They are residents of Bongaigaon and Goalpara neighborhoods. The illegal rat hole mining, along with several others, is operated by someone named David Naga and the three miners were brought to work by someone who acted as a labor contractor, an official says .
“Illegal rat hole mining has been rampant in the Margherita and Ledo areas of Tinsukia District. The coal smugglers run the whole nexus in a very organized way with the patronage of certain circles,” he alleged.
Mining of rat holes has been completely banned, but it is still illegally mined in some areas of the region.
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