SC to hear plea on Meghalaya mine disaster

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The Supreme Court will hear on Thursday a plea seeking the deployment of adequate manpower and equipment for the rescue of miners trapped in a flooded mine in Meghalaya.

A bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Sanjay Krishan Kaul agreed to hear the matter.

The petition by lawyer Aditya N. Prasad said the equipment to flush out the water being offered by Kirloskars and Tata Trust should be immediately airlifted to the site instead of sending it by road.

The rat-hole mine, located on top of a hillock fully covered with trees in East Jaintia Hills district, had got flooded when water from the nearby Lytein river gushed into it, trapping the miners.

Rat-hole mining involves digging of narrow tunnels, usually three-four feet high, for workers to enter and extract coal. The horizontal tunnels are often termed “rat holes” as each just about fits one person.

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