RANCHI -- Nine bodies were recovered from a caved-in coal mine and more than 20 persons were feared trapped dead in Jharkhand's Godda district on Thursday night, the state police said on Friday.
The bodies were recovered during rescue operation that started on Friday morning, Jharkhand Director General of Police (DGP) D.K. Pandey told IANS.
The chances of survival of all trapped people were negligible, police sources said.
Heap of mud caved in at the entry point of Lalmatia mines of Eastern Coalfields Limited (ECL), the police said.
At the time of the cave-in at the Rajmahal Open Cast Mines of Paharia Bhorya site, more than 70 vehicles were inside.
Rescue operation could not begin due to night fog, the police said.
The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) team reached around 11 a.m. from Patna.
The local police and administration were involved in the rescue operation.
The Director General of Mines Safety (DGMS) has sent a team to the spot to investigate.
According to a DGMS official, the safety measures were overlooked during mining.
The locals said there was a crack in the heap of mud which collapsed and blocked the entry point of the mine.
Mining operations were taking place about 200 feet beneath the ground.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das and enquired about the incident. "Saddened by the loss of lives at a mine in Jharkhand. My prayers are with those trapped inside. Spoke to CM Raghubar Das on the situation," Modi said on twitter.
The Chief Minister has also announced Rs. two lakh compensation to the families of the deceased and Rs. 25,000 for the injured. He also said that stern action would be taken against those responsible for the mine collapse.
Discussing about the reason behind this incident, Chairman and Managing Director of Eastern Coalfields Limited (ECL) and Western Coalfields Limited (WCL) Rajiv Ranjan Mishra said, "A higher committee has been formed and a Deputy General Manager will also enquire. The prima facie which has been found is the entire surface has collapsed. This is a unique phenomenon. But let us see what the reports says."
Misha further said that three excavators and seven dumpers were present there at the mining site.
"According to the rules, one person is allowed per equipment and as two dumpers fled during the incident, so, the number of people trapped may be less than seven," he said.
With inputs from ANI
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