Ten workers died while over 30 are still feared trapped following a coal mine collapsed on Thursday night in Jharkhand’s Godda district. This is the latest mishap in a nation with a poor record of industrial safety. Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to Jharkhand CM Raghubar Das and asked about collapse in the Lalmatia on Friday.
Meanwhile, Das announced Rs 2 lakh to the families of the dead and Rs 25,000 for the injured. He also promised that the severe action would be taken against those accountable for the accident.
As Newsd reported earlier in the morning, mining operation was part of the Rajmahal Opencast Project of Eastern Coalfields Limited (ECL), carried out by Mahalaxmi Company in Godda district. The incident took place during a shift change late on Thursday. The rescue operation could not be started immediately due to the darkness, fog and power cut in the area.
“Rescue operation started from 6 am on Friday morning. We are not sure as to how many workers and vehicles are trapped inside the mine. But, as per the information about 10-12 vehicles were operating inside the mine when the incident took place. Besides, there were some workers also. We are only focusing on saving the people trapped inside the mine,” said Godda superintendent of police Hira Lal Chauhan.
A rescue team from Dhanbad reached to the site. “Additional forces have been pressed to maintain law and order,” Chauhan said as per a report in HT. A National Disaster Rescue Force team from Patna has also been rushed to the accident spot. The state administration has been asked to give chopper facilities to airlift those trapped inside the mine.
Currently, there is no official statement on how many machines, vehicles and people are being trapped. Relief and rescue operations are already under process and the injured are being sent to the nearby hospitals. Most of the things, especially the number of casualties will only become clear as the relief and rescue operations proceed further.
Well, this is not first such incident. As per a report in local media, around six months ago a drill machine submerged in the soil. It seems that the concern authorities took no lessons from the previous incident.
As per the official, the numbers of trapped vehicles were around eight or 10, but, some people are also saying that the number could be two to three times higher. The exact extent of the loss was yet to be gauged.