At least four people were feared dead after a landslide at a state-run coal mine in Bharatpur in Odisha late on Tuesday, Reuters quoted the company spokesperson as saying.
According to Odisha TV, rescue teams pulled out the body of a worker from the rubble, while three others are feared trapped. At least 10 workers were rescued and are undergoing treatment for injuries at Talcher Nehru Centenary Hospital.
The coal mine is operated by Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd, which is a subsidiary of the Coal India Limited. Dikken Mehra, a spokesperson for Mahanadi Coalfields, said the open cast coal mine was shut after the accident. The mine has a production capacity of 20,000 tonnes a day. “It will take at least a week to resume operations,” Mehra added.
Mahanadi Coalfields’ Chairperson BN Shukla said it would take 10 to 12 hours to complete the rescue operations, The Times of India reported. He said the injured people were stable.
The last big mining accident in the country took place in Meghalaya’s East Jaintia Hills district in December, when 15 men went missing in an illegal rat-hole mine. The rescue operation included personnel from the National Disaster Response Force, the State Disaster Response Force, and the Indian Navy. In May, the state government told the Supreme Court that the families of the coal miners had agreed to call off the search operation.