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Indian mine collapse kills three

Published by MAC on 2005-09-29

Indian mine collapse kills three

BBC News

29th September 2005

At least three people have been killed and another 10 trapped after a coal mine collapsed in eastern India. The mine in mineral-rich Jharkhand state caved in when some villagers were stealing coal, authorities said.

Rescuers are trying to reach the trapped villagers in the state-owned mine in Rajrappa, a town 80km (50 miles) north of the capital, Ranchi.

Jharkhand, which has India's largest coal deposits, has suffered a number of serious mining accidents.

In June, 14 miners were trapped days after water flooded into the Bansgarha mine in Hazaribagh district.

The state's worst mine collapse occurred in 1975, when nearly 400 miners were killed.

Rescue delay

A local police official told the BBC that a layer of coal had collapsed on villagers who were illegally digging in a mine run by Central Coalfields.

"The residents of the village living near the mine make a living by stealing coal from the mine in connivance with some officials," local police chief Praveen Kumar said.

He said rescue operations had been delayed by the late arrival of coal company officials at the site. There was no comment from the firm.

Mr Kumar said he feared that 10 to 15 people were trapped in the debris.

A large number of villagers and anxious relatives of those trapped were at the scene and wanted rescue operations to begin immediately, reports said.

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