Families seek miracle at Indian mine where 15 trapped for nearly two weeks

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Rescuers work at the site of a coal mine that collapsed in Ksan, in the northeastern Indian state of Meghalaya, Friday, Dec. 14, 2018. (AP)
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This undated handout photograph released by the National Disaster Response Force shows emergency workers gathering around a crane after 13 miners were killed after being trapped by flooding in an illegal coal mine in Ksan village in Meghalaya's East Jaintia Hills district. (AFP)
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Rescuers work at the site of a coal mine that collapsed in Ksan, in the northeastern state of Meghalaya, India, December 23, 2018. (REUTERS)
Updated 27 December 2018
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Families seek miracle at Indian mine where 15 trapped for nearly two weeks

  • The rescue operations was suspended on Sunday following flash floods from a nearby river, officials said
  • A team of about 100 National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) experts have been camping at the mine site but their operations have been hampered by lack of sophisticated equipment

GUWAHATI, India: Indian rescue workers were trying to reach 15 coal miners trapped underground for 13 days on Wednesday as families prayed for their safe return, but chances of survival looked slim after floodwaters rushed through the illegal “rat-hole” pit.
The 15 went to work at the mine in the northeastern state of Meghalaya on December 13 and have been underground ever since.
“Only God’s grace and some miracle can help them to be alive,” Kyrmen Shylla, Meghalaya’s disaster management minister, told Reuters by telephone from capital Shillong.
The rescue operations was suspended on Sunday following flash floods from a nearby river, officials said.
A team of about 100 National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) experts have been camping at the mine site but their operations have been hampered by lack of sophisticated equipment, S.K. Shastri, NDRF commandant leading the operations, said.
The mine is an old, illegal so-called rat-hole mine, common in Meghalaya but dangerous as the coal is pulled out from narrow, horizontal seams.
Workers, including children, descend hundreds of feet on bamboo ladders to dig out the coal, often leading to accidents at such mines.


Five suspects in court over Nairobi hotel attack

Updated 18 January 2019
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Five suspects in court over Nairobi hotel attack

  • A magistrate granted a request from the prosecution to detain the four men and one woman for 30 days while investigations continue
  • Gladys Kaari Justus is being investigated over the transfer of money while Guleid Abdihakim — who holds Canadian citizenship — is being probed over suspicious communication

NAIROBI: Five suspects, including a Canadian citizen, appeared in a Kenyan court Friday in connection with a militant attack on a Nairobi hotel complex that left 21 dead.
A magistrate granted a request from the prosecution to detain the four men and one woman for 30 days while investigations continue.
The suspects are accused of “possible involvement in the almost 20-hour siege of the DusitD2 hotel and office complex by a suicide bomber and four gunmen who were all killed by security forces,” a court document said.
“The investigations into this matter are complex and transnational and would therefore require sufficient time and resources to uncover the entire criminal syndicate,” a statement from Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Hajji said.
A total of 11 suspects were arrested after Tuesday’s attack, however investigations into the others were still ongoing.
Those who appeared in court include Joel Ng’ang’a Wainaina, a taxi driver who ferried the attackers around on several occasions, and Oliver Kanyango Muthee, a taxi driver who drove one of the assailants to the scene of the attack.
Gladys Kaari Justus is being investigated over the transfer of money while Guleid Abdihakim — who holds Canadian citizenship — is being probed over suspicious communication.
The other suspect Osman Ibrahim is alleged to have met with one of the attackers on January 8.
Two suspects yet to appear in court, Ali Salim Gichunge and Violet Kemunto Omwoyo possessed SIM cards that were in “constant communication” with numbers in Somalia, court documents revealed.
The attack was claimed by Somali militant group Al-Shabab, an affiliate of Al-Qaeda which has repeatedly targeted Kenya over the presence of its troops in Somalia.
In 2013 an attack on the Westgate mall in Nairobi left 67 dead, while in 2015 Shabab killed 148 people at a university in Garissa, eastern Kenya.