The Supreme Court agreed to hear a petition seeking urgent steps to rescue 15 miners trapped inside coal mine in Meghalaya since December 13. A two judge bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice S K Kaul will hear the matter on Thursday.
Aditya N Prasad who filed the PIL also sought a direction to the Centre and other authorities concerned to prepare a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for rescue operations in mining.
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The miners are trapped in the rat-hole mine, located on top of a hillock in East Jaintia Hills district, after it got flooded when water from the nearby Lytein river gushed into it.
The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) had on Thursday denied media reports saying the trapped minors were suspected to be dead. NDRF said the foul smell could be due to the stagnant water in the mine as pumping had been halted for more than 48 hours.
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A survivor of the accident said on Saturday there was no way the trapped miners would come out alive.
Family members of at least seven trapped miners had already given up hope to rescue them alive and requested the government to retrieve the bodies for last rites.