Four persons who had entered an underground closed mine of South Eastern Coalfield Limited (SECL) in Madhya Pradesh’s Shahdol district died after reportedly inhaling poisonous gas, a police officer said on Friday.
“They were residents of Shahdol. They had gone to the mines to steal scrap of machines and collect coal on Thursday,” said Kumar Prateek, superintendent of police, Shahdol.
Prateek said, “Five thieves had gone to collect coal and scrap of machines in Dhanpuri underground mines. One of them felt uneasy so he returned and also asked other to come out but they didn’t listen. When the four didn’t come back by evening, he informed the police and other locals.”
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Police along with SECL experts held a rescue operation and all the four were found in an unconscious state in the mine on Friday morning.
They were rushed to a nearby hospital where doctor declared them brought dead.
The SP said, “The short postmortem report said they died after inhaling methane gas. The mine was closed since 2018 but machines and other set up including steel rallying was present.
The person who had informed the police said they used to steal coal and scrap from mines.
The matter is being investigated by the police while the district administration also asked the SECL to put danger and caution board on such closed mines.