India mine collapse death toll rises to 17

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-01-01 17:03

NEW DELHI - The death toll in coal mine collapse in eastern Indian state of Jharkhand has reached up to 17, officials said Sunday.

The mine collapsed on Thursday evening at Rajmahal open cast expansion project in district Godda, about 351 km northeast of Ranchi, the capital city of Jharkhand.

Rescue teams are struggling hard to trace the several labourers feared trapped inside the mine.

"As of now we have recovered 17 bodies from the coal mine," R R Amitabh, a senior official at Eastern Coalfields Limited told Xinhua. "The search is going on to find if someone is trapped inside."

Relatives of the missing labourers are waiting outside the mine.

So far two labourers were rescued alive and removed to hospital for treatment.

"Two persons have met with injuries and treated in hospital. One of them has been sent to Durgapur for further treatment," a government spokesman said.

Though officials refrain from disclosing the exact number of workers inside the mine at the time of collapse. Media reports said at least 60 workers were inside the the coal mine.

Five teams of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) have been sent to Jharkhand to carry out searches.

Poor safety standards are often blamed for the mishaps inside the coal mines.

Authorities have ordered an inquiry into the accident to investigate into the causes of the collapse.

Eastern Coalfields Limited, a government of India undertaking has announced compensation of $7,300 to the kins of each deceased in the incident.

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