Rescuers today intensified their search operation near Cuddegal iron ore mine site in South Goa where three people are feared killed after collapse of a `tailing stack’.

The incident occurred at the mine at Sanvordem village owned by Greater Ferromet, a Goa-based sister concern for Fomento Sociedade, at around 8.40 pm on Friday.

Incessant rains had slowed down the rescue operation which picked up pace this morning.

A Greater Ferromet spokesman said a dressing engineer, a security guard and worker were trapped inside the debris and the hopes of they being alive are receding.

Seven persons have been pulled out alive till now, he said, adding the mishap took place at the treatment plant of the mine, where iron ore was being processed.

The tailing stack wall reportedly got weakened due to the heavy rains lashing Konkan region since the last three days. Eyewitnesses said the security check post situated below the wall got buried under the debris.

The tailing stack contains aluminium and silica impurities and is piled up outside the mining site.

Goa Mining Department has initiated an inquiry into the incident. Chief Minister Digambar Kamat, who visited the site, said the Department will be submitting a report soon.

Satish Suri, Director General of Mines Safety, told PTI in New Delhi, that they were monitoring the events in Goa.

“At present, rescue operation is going. We will initiate an inquiry only after rescue work is over.”

“The first priority is to get out the people who are trapped inside,” Mr. Suri said.