01/01/2017 1:46 PM IST | Updated 01/01/2017 1:54 PM IST

Death Toll From Jharkhand Coal Mine Disaster Rises To 17

"Despite dense fog in the area, rescue operation is underway."

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People gather near the site of a coal mine collapse near Lalmatia in Godda district in eastern Jharkhand state on 30 December, 2016.

GODDA -- The death toll climbed to 17 in the coal mine collapse at Lalmatia open cast coal mine of Eastern Coalfields Ltd (ECL) even as rescue operations were today underway at the site.

R R Mishra, officiating CMD of ECL, a Coal India subsidiary today said, "One more body has been recovered. Despite dense fog in the area, rescue operation is underway. Sniffer dogs have also been pressed into service", he said.

Mishra had said on Saturday, "We are carrying on the rescue operation in a systematic manner so that the situation does not aggravate as the debris is too much and it should not fall."

Danger zones have been declared around the place of incidents to restrict the entry of people there. Moreover, police and CISF officials have been stationed to restrict entry of people in the danger zone, he had said.

Central Mine Planning and Design Institute (CMPDIL), the consultancy arm of Coal India Ltd, has deployed magneto meters along with imaging system for locating magnetic and conductive material up to a depth of 80 meters, the statement said.

The incident occurred at around 7.30 PM on 29 December when a massive mound of earth came crashing down on excavators at Lalmatia open cast coal mine of Eastern Coalfields Ltd (ECL), the worst such disaster in over a decade.

The rescue operations was launched immediately after the incident.

Senior officials of Director General of Mines Safety (DGMS) had arrived at the site and launched an inquiry into the incident.

13 excavators and dump trucks which were swamped under the debris were recovered.

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