At least nine workers have died and nearly two dozen are feared trapped in a coal mine which has collapsed in the eastern Indian state of Jharkhand.
A heap of mud caved in at the entry point of the Latmatia mines of Eastern Coalfields Limited (ECL) in Godda district, police said. The collapse occurred at 8:30pm yesterday, the state disaster management department said.
“So far, nine bodies have been recovered,” RR Amitabh, a general manager at the ECL project office told Reuters.
While initial reports put the number of trapped at around 10, a CISF official told ANI that around 40-50 workers are suspected to be trapped inside the debris along with 40 vehicles of a private company operating at the site.
Coal India has a poor safety record, with 135 accidents reported last year, killing 37 people and injuring 141, the company said in a report, highlighting concern about working conditions.
“Unfortunately the casualties have increased from seven in the morning to 10,” the coal ministry said in a statement.