03/01/2017 9:39 AM IST | Updated 03/01/2017 11:40 AM IST

Young Engineer Trapped In Jharkhand Mine Collapse, Family Holds Out Hope

He is the sole breadwinner of the family.

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

A 22-year-old engineer and the sole breadwinner of his family, Gagan Kumar Singh, is still feared to be trapped inside the Lalmatia mine in Jharkhand even as the rescue operation enters the sixth day. The open cast mine had caved in on 29 December, and 18 people have been reported dead so far in the state's worst mining tragedy in recent memory.

Singh, the supervisor engineer who, along with dozens of other workers, was trapped in the mine, is a resident of Bhagalpur in Bihar. He was to be married in January, but it is unclear now whether he is dead or alive. His parents, who are both reported to be cardiac patients, have not yet been informed about the mining accident.

"We were waiting for celebrations in the family. Gagan's father was counting the days for his return from Godda to start the marriage rituals. Everything changed in a flash," Singh's brother-in-law Ranjit told Hindustan Times.

Singh's marriage was first scheduled for November, but then postponed to January due to demonetisation of large currency notes.

While not a single person has been reportedly rescued alive after the accident, the family is still holding on to hope, reported The Telegraph. "God willing, we will dance at his wedding," said Ranjit.

Over 200 men are part of the rescue mission to look for survivors of those trapped inside the mine. It is unclear how many more might be found in the debris. The Lalmatia accident has made 2016 one of the deadliest years for mine workers.

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