A coal miner was killed and three others were feared dead after the roof of a coal mine in Jharkhand collapsed on Monday.
Onlookers and rescue personnel are pictured outside a coal mine at Church Victoria near Nirsa in Jharkhand's Dhanbad district. (AFP Photo)
The accident took place around 11.15am at Bharat Coking Coal Limited's (BCCL's) Basanti Mata mine in Dhanbad district, around 200km from state capital Ranchi.
A seven-member team, including shift-in-charge Sukhal Mahato, had entered the mine around 11am.
Mahato and two other miners managed to escape after the mishap, but sustained critical injuries. They were rushed to a local hospital.
The BCCL confirmed one death after recovering a body from the rubble in the afternoon. The deceased was identified as Harilal Harijan.
A special team from the Directorate General of Mines Safety (DGMS), a central mines regulatory agency, visited the spot later in the day. A rescue operation is underway till the filing of the report.
"The roof collapsed on seven workers," BCCL technical director Ashok Sarkar, who monitored the rescue operations, said.
The Dhanbad district administration and police officials also reached the spot and led the rescue efforts.
Dhanbad parliamentarian and Bharatiya Janata Party leader PN Singh demanded a judicial inquiry into the incident.
Altogether 260 workers had entered the mine on Monday. The seven-member team, which was in charge of loading coal, bore the brunt of the roof collapse.
The other miners were safe, as early reports about a large number of them being trapped proved untrue.