Rajasthan mine collapse: 14 Hindustan Copper Limited officials rescued, one dead

Of the rescued officials, three were stated to be in a serious condition and were being treated at a hospital in Jaipur

Updated - May 15, 2024 09:23 pm IST

Published - May 15, 2024 09:14 am IST - JAIPUR

Rescue work underway after a lift collapsed at Kolihan mine, in Jhunjhunu district, Rajasthan, on May 15, 2024.  At least 14 people are feared trapped after the collpase that took place late Tuesday night.

Rescue work underway after a lift collapsed at Kolihan mine, in Jhunjhunu district, Rajasthan, on May 15, 2024. At least 14 people are feared trapped after the collpase that took place late Tuesday night. | Photo Credit: PTI

Fourteen officials of Hindustan Copper Limited (HCL) trapped inside a mine at Khetri in Rajasthan’s Neem Ka Thana district were rescued on Wednesday, while one official died in the mishap. All the officials were trapped in the Kolihan mine when the vertical shaft carrying them collapsed because of breakage of a rope on Tuesday night.

The team of the public sector HCL comprised members of the Vigilance Department from Kolkata and other officials who were visiting the site for an inspection. The lift collapsed when it was coming out of the mine and one of its iron ropes broke, with the officials being trapped at a depth of about 1,800 feet.

The deceased has been identified as Upendra Pandey, Chief Vigilance Officer at HCL. Khetri Copper Complex unit head G.D. Gupta and Kolihan Mines Deputy General Manager A.K. Sharma were among the 14 officials who were rescued from another exit point. Mr. Pandey’s body was also taken out of the mine.

Neem ka Thana Collector Sharad Mehra said the rescue operation continued throughout the night. Mr. Mehra said the 14 rescued persons were sent to Jaipur for medical treatment after giving them primary aid for their limb injuries. In addition to an internal probe by the HCL, the State government’s Mines Department will also launch an investigation to find out the cause of the accident and look into the safety measures.

Rajasthan mine collapse | All the trapped officials rescued

Chief Minister Bhajan Lal Sharma said the rescue team had depicted “patience, courage and struggle” in its operation. In a message posted on X (formerly Twitter), Mr. Sharma expressed gratitude to the members of the rescue team, who were earlier instructed to reach the spot immediately, for evacuating the HCL officials trapped in the mine.

Of the rescued officials, three were stated to be in a serious condition and were being treated at a hospital in Jaipur. The joint rescue team, comprising the State Disaster Response Force personnel and HCL staff, carried out the operation using a ladder and moved the lift manually, while taking out the trapped officials with the help of improvised stretchers.

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