December 30th, 2016
Jharkhand Mine Collapse
At least ten workers have lost their lives, and more than 40 are feared to be trapped inside the Lalmatia coal mines in Godda district of Jharkhand following a collapse of the mine.
Rescuers have so far found and removed ten dead bodies from the site of the Rajmahal Opencast Project of Eastern Coalfields Limited (ECL). The rescue efforts are still in progress.
The incident occurred on Thursday night during a shift change, and the rescue operation couldn’t begin before 6 am on Friday because of darkness and fog.
Godda superintendent of police Hira Lal Chauhan told Hindustan Times, “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.”
A crack that occurred in the heap of mud led to the collapse and blockade of the entry point of the Lalmatia coal mine. While police rushed to the spot in the morning, five NDRF teams are supposed to reach noon. An inquiry has been initiated into the incident.
ANI reported, Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das is monitoring the situation closely and has asked concerned officials to intensify rescue operations.
Mining operations were taking place about 200 feet beneath the ground.
The working conditions in the coal mines of eaters Jharkhand risky for the workers. Many times the workers are not provided even masks for assignments in deeper parts of the mine. They breathe in the air filled with coal dust, with many of them developing asthma and other respiratory problems.
The accidents are also fairly common. Accidents happen almost every week. There have been 752 documented fatalities at different mining operations in the country between 2009 and 2013, according to the Office of Directorate General of Mines Safety, Ministry of Labour and Employment. These include accidents at mines run by state-owned CIL, Neyveli Lignite Corporation and Singareni Collieries.