Two workers died after a rat-hole coal mine caved in at Soo kilo area while they were trying to illegally extract coal at Mooknor, Jalyiah village in Meghalaya’s East Jaintia Hills district.

As per sources, at least three miners have died in the incident. While bodies of two miners have been recovered, one of the miners body still remains trapped inside the cave.

The incident came to light after a local resident Philip Bareh filed a report about his 26-year-old nephew missing since Friday. The two deceased have been identified as Elad Bareh and Monoj Basumatary.

Despite the National Green Tribunal ban on coal mining since 2014, illegal mining has continued unabated in Meghalaya.

As many as 2,712 coal laden trucks have been seized in the state since the ban and over 1100 cases have been registered of which surprisingly only 98 are from East Jaintia Hills.

On January 3rd as many as 20 coal laden trucks were seized in Ri Bhoi despite the big hue and cry over illegal coal mining.

Meanwhile, there has been no breakthrough in the rescue operations in the tragedy hit coal mine with over 25 days after the incident.

Pumping of water was carried out by the Odisha fire service personnel in two adjoining mine shafts in the site even as the high power Kirloskar pumps developed technical snags and had to be taken out of operations.

The water level in the mine has reduced to 4 feet following continuous draining out of water. It may be mentioned here that as many as 15 miners are trapped inside the coal mine since December 13.