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Coal mine collapses in Jharkhand, killing nine



SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) — At least nine workers have been killed and nearly two dozen others are feared trapped in a Jharkhand coal mine that collapsed in the eastern Indian state.

The incident occurred late Thursday evening, according to authorities, at the government-owned mine in the Godda district. Efforts to break through to the trapped workers are still underway, officials said. Unconfirmed media reports have pegged the amount of trapped workers at 50.

“So far, nine bodies have been recovered,” RR Amitabh, a top official at the mining firm, told Reuters. Initial reports indicate the death toll from the accident is anticipated to rise.

Officials said that rescue operations had to be delayed until Friday morning because of bad weather, including poor visibility due to fog. Meanwhile, dozens of vehicles and machinery remained trapped under piles of debris as well. Mining operations were reportedly taking place 200 feet beneath the ground.

Jharkhand has some of India’s biggest coal mines, and accounts for 29 percent of the country’s coal deposits, but safety standards are not always strictly followed. Last year, the country reported 38 deaths at more than 500 mining sites.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi responded on social media.

“Saddened by the loss of lives at a mine in Jharkhand. My prayers are with those trapped inside,” he said on Twitter.

Jharkand is also one of India’s poorest states. Almost 40 percent of its population lives beneath the poverty line while more than half of the states’ districts have poverty levels that exceed 40 percent. India is one of the world’s top three coal consumers and is expected to surpass the United States in terms of coal consumption by 2030.

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