Meghalaya, Jan 22: Six persons lost their lives in an accident in the coal-rich district of East Jaintia Hills of Meghalaya.

Deputy Commissioner E Kharmalki said the incident took place at a mining site near Dienshalalu, Sarkari, and Rymbai village.

“Six persons were killed. They were digging a hole when the mechanical structure snapped and broke the digger tool carrier due to which they fell into the pit and died,” he said.

He said that so far, five of the six deceased have been identified and their respective families have been informed to claim the bodies.

Most of them are from neighboring Assam and the bodies were being taken to the hospital for a post-mortem examination.

However, Kharmalki said it was yet not clear if the deceased were engaged in coal mining or stone mining activities, since “no coal was found in the hole they were digging”.

He said their employer is also yet to be identified but a case has been registered by the administration as per the law.

In December 2018, 15 persons (most of them from Assam) were killed in a coal mine in East Jaintia Hills district of Meghalaya when it was flooded by water from a nearby river.