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Jharkhand coal mine death toll rises to 18

7cef567a8074b8f7feda64a3be10f5e5The Jharkhand coal mine that caved is now said to have claimed over 18 lives, up from the 9 that was reported on the 30th of December. The earth under the coal mine in Lalmatia in Jharkhand caved and this had resulted in vehicles, machinery and people getting trapped under the earth. The coal mine belongs to the state run Eastern Coalfields Limited (ECL). The tragedy had occurred at the Rajmahal Open Cast Project of the ECL in the Godda district of Jharkand.

A probe is being conducted by the Director General of Mines Safety and a high level committee of Coal India Limited will also be investigating the causes of the accident. ECL is a subsidiary of Coal India and hence Coal India will be playing a major role in evacuations and in investigations.

Over 13 excavators, cranes and machinery stuck in the earth were recovered from the site so far. The area has been declared as a danger zone by the Government and the CRPF is now guarding the area to prevent other people from coming in. Sniffer dogs are being used to locate some of the workers who could possibly be close to the surface of the earth.

The workers at the mine are currently being evacuated by teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF). Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das had announced an ex-gratia payment of Rs 2 lakhs to the family of the deceased and Rs 25,000 to those injured in the accident. ECL has announced an ex-gratia payment of Rs 5 lakhs to the families of the deceased. The authorities are in touch with the families of the affected workers.

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