A mechanical structure collapsed at an illegal coal mine in Meghalaya's East Jaintia Hills district, killing six miners, an official said on Friday. The tragedy occured at the tri-junction of Dienshalalu, Sarkari and Rymbai villages late Thursday, Deputy Commissioner E Kharmalki said.
"Altogether six persons were killed. While the workers were digging a hole in the mine the mechanical structure got dismantled following which they fell into a pit and died," he said.
Five of the deceased have been identified, the official said, adding, most of them are from neighbouring Assam.
Police have lodged a case against the employer and investigation is under way.
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) had banned coal mining in the state in 2014 over environmental concerns.
At least 15 labourers had got trapped after water from Lytein river had inundated an illegal mine in Lumthari village, also in the same district, in December 2018. Only two bodies could be recovered before the arduous operation to locate them was abandoned after seven months.