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15 Miners Trapped in Meghalaya but PM Modi is Busy Posing for Cameras: Rahul Gandhi

The 15 miners were trapped in the "rat-hole" mine on December 13 after water from nearby Lytein river gushed into it. All efforts to trace the labourers have turned futile as the water level in the mine showed no signs of receding.


Updated:December 27, 2018, 2:07 PM IST

New Delhi: Congress president Rahul Gandhi has targeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi for not doing enough to rescue the 15 people trapped inside a flooded coal mine in Meghalaya.

Rahul made an appeal to PM Modi to save the 15 miners and alleged that the government was not organising high-pressure pumps for the rescue operation. He accused the PM of instead posing for cameras and strutting on the Bogibeel bridge on the Brahmaputra river in neighbouring Assam on Tuesday.

"15 miners have been struggling for air in a flooded coal mine for two weeks. Meanwhile, PM struts about on Bogibeel Bridge posing for cameras. His government refuses to organise high pressure pumps for the rescue. PM please save the miners," he tweeted.

He said this amid reports that the operation to rescue the 15 miners is hampered by lack of equipment. The miners were trapped after water from the nearby Lytein river suddenly gushed into the pit.

A senior Meghalaya home department official has said the police force in East Jaintia Hills district, where the mine is located, do not have adequate personnel to deal with the problem.

The 15 miners were trapped in the "rat-hole" mine on December 13 after water from nearby Lytein river gushed into it. All efforts to trace the labourers have turned futile as the water level in the mine showed no signs of receding in the two weeks.


Around 20 miners had entered the 370-foot mine on December 13. After reaching the bottom of the pit, they entered the horizontal tunnels, often termed "rat-holes", as each just about fits one person.

According to local people, one of the diggers could have accidentally punctured the walls of the cave, following which the river water gushed into it. Five people were able to climb out of the flooded mine, leaving the others behind.

Seven of the 15 trapped labourers hail from West Garo Hills district, five from Assam and three from the remote Lumthari village, where the accident took place, the SP said.

Over 100 personnel of the national and state disaster response forces, along with the police, have been waiting for the water level to subside to begin the rescue work.


Mining expert Jaswant Singh Gill, who arrived at the site two days ago, has made recommendations to the state to hasten the operation, NDRF Assistant commandant S K Singh said.

The family members have now given up hope that the miners would be rescued alive. Shohor Ali, who hails from Magurmari village in West Garo Hills district, has his son, brother and son-in-law trapped in the mine. "We have all lost hope to see them alive. I just wanted the authorities to help us retrieve the dead bodies for their last rites," he told PTI.

Ali also said that all three of his family were lured to Lumthari with a promise of Rs 2,000 as wage per day. "I was the first person to get in touch with MLA (Rajabala constituency) Azad Aman to find out about the accident," he added.

(with PTI inputs)

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| Edited by: Mayur Borah
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