World

8 killed, many more trapped in mine collapse

NEW DELHI : At least eight workers were killed and scores more feared trapped after a massive mound of earth caved in at a coal mine in eastern India yesterday.

It buried at least 23 miners and dozens of vehicles under the debris at the Lalmatia open cast mine in Jharkhand state's Godda district.

"So far eight dead bodies have been recovered and 15 more remain unaccounted for," Jharkhand police spokesman RK Mallick told AFP.

Some of the workers had escaped the disaster site following the collapse, the officer said, with unconfirmed media reports putting the number of trapped at 50.

Local police and emergency staff were using earth movers and sniffer dogs to locate the trapped workers, while the National Disaster Management Authority dispatched more than 200 rescue workers.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his grief on Twitter, promising to help the state government in the rescue.

"Saddened by the loss of lives at a mine in Jharkhand. My prayers are with those trapped inside," he said.

The mine is operated by the government-owned Eastern Coalfields Limited.

Its top official told AFP that more than 250 metres of the mine collapsed as the workers headed towards the exit at around 7.30pm on Thursday.

There was no immediate explanation for the collapse. 
- AFP

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