Eight miners were killed and several others feared trapped following a mishap in Lalmatia opencast coal mine at Rajmahal area of Eastern Coalfields Ltd (ECL) last night.
"So far, bodies of seven miners have been recovered from the mine. Rescue work is on," R R Mishra, officiating CMD of ECL, told PTI.
There was a cave-in at the mine in Godda district at around 7.30 PM last night when excavators and tippers were working there following which rescue operations were launched immediately, Mishra said.
Director General of Mines Safety and senior officials were there to supervise the rescue operation, Mishra said.
Police said two persons were injured in the incident and were being treated at a hospital.
Prime Minister Narendra M
odi spoke to Chief Minister Raghubar Das over phone and took stock of the situation.
The PM said Jharkhand Government and Coal Minister Piyush Goyal were "working to restore normalcy".
The National Disaster Relief Force (NDRF)has been engaged for rescue & relief operations.
"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.
Expressing sorrow, the Jharkhand Chief Minister today announced assistance of Rs two lakh for the families of the miners who died in the accident.
He also announced Rs 25,000 to the injured, official sources said.
"All senior officials have been asked to stay at the site," the CM said on twitter.
Eastern Coalfields Ltd (ECL) has also announced an ex-gratia compensation of Rs 5 lakh each to the families of the deceased, in addition to the amount to be paid under the Workmen's Compensation Act.
"CMD, ECL has reported that an incident of overburden dump slide/subsidence has occurred in the second shift of December 29, at about 7.30 PM in the Rajmahal Open Cast Expansion Project in district Goda, Jharkhand....," an official statement said.
All the necessary help to the families of the deceased is being extended by ECL, it said.
"Prima facie, it is observed that the incident is unprecedented, since an area of 300 m length by 110 m wide solid floor of the Over Burden dump area has slid down by about 35 m involving around 9.5 million cubic meters of earth material. This could be due to failure of the bench edge along the hidden fault line/slip," the statement said.
Senior management of ECL and state government officials have been supervising the rescue operations since last evening, it added.
A control room has been set up at the project office of Rajmahal Open Cast Expansion Project of ECL and R R Amitabh, GM, Mining is in charge of control room.
Coal and Power Piyush Goyal conveyed his deep condolences to the families of deceased.
In another tweet, he said that he was monitoring the rescue operation since last evening with the Chief Minister of Jharkhand.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said in a tweet "Saddened by the loss of lives in Jharkhand's #Lalmatia coal mine collapse. My prayers for recovery of injured & solace to bereaved families." —PTI