Nine killed, dozens trapped in mine collapse in eastern India

Dozens of workers are still missing after a collapse at a state-owned coal mine in the Godda district.

Photo by: AFP
Photo by: AFP

Forty people were working when the mine waste collapsed in Jharkhand state.

At least nine miners were killed and about two dozen are trapped when a mine waste collapsed at a mine run by a state owned company in Indian's eastern region. 

Several vehicles working at the mine were also trapped in the accident in Jharkhand state on Thursday evening at the Lalmatia mines owned by Eastern Coalfields Limited (ECL), a subsidiary of the world's largest miner.

"At that time, about 40 people were working in the mine and some of them managed to escape. Some of them have injuries," police spokesman R.K. Mullick told Reuters.

At least five workers were killed and scores more are feared trapped.

Mine waste piled up near the mine cave, he said, adding that the operation of the mine had been out sourced to a private company.

A spokesman for ECL declined to comment saying it was still gathering details from the site.

"Saddened by the loss of lives at a mine in Jharkhand," Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in a twitter post, adding that the state government and Coal Minister Piyush Goyal were helping.

ECL accounted for about 9 percent of Coal India's total production of 50 million tonnes last month.