Three people, including a ten-year-old child, were reportedly killed after an illegal mine collapsed in Dhanbad district of Jharkhand on Friday. The incident took place at Bharat Coking Coal Limited’s (BCCL) Bhowra Colliery Area, which is an open mine that had been declared closed. However, the police have confirmed only one death.
“One person has been killed and few got injured. At present, I don’t have details of the person who has been killed as investigation is going on. Investigation would be carried out from the angle and whoever would be responsible, action would be taken as per the law,” Dhanbad Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Sanjeev Kumar told The Hindu.
According to the eye witnesses, a large number of people were seen entering the mine. A while later, a loud noise was heard, after which people could be seen running out from inside the mine. While many were injured, five were trapped in the debris. Rescue teams managed to get only two of them out alive; three others died on the spot. The condition of the two people rescued from the mine is still critical, said Vinod, an eye witness.
Subodh Kumar, another local resident, said that the Director General of Mines and Safety (DGMS) had been asked several times to stop illegal mining but the latter had paid no attention to the request. Local residents also demonstrated in front of the DGMS office against illegal mining. They also sought compensation for those who had died in the accident.
The in-charge at the local police station said that prima facie the incident happened due to illegal mining but it was difficult to say how many people had died or were trapped in the collapsed mine. JCB machines of BCCL were seen continuing the search and rescue work.