At least five killed in mine collapse in India

Deceased are said to be local coal pickers who were illegally digging

A man climbs a steep ridge with a basket of coal scavenged from a mine near Dhanbad, India, on September 24. AP Photo / Altaf Qadri
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At least five people, including four women, were killed when part of an abandoned coal mine collapsed in Jharkhand, in India's Dhanbad district.

The incident occurred at the state-owned Eastern Coalfield mine on Wednesday morning.

A Dhanbad police officer said: “The [rescue] operation is over and no survivors were found.”

Police are yet to confirm the identities of the deceased, said to be local coal pickers who were illegally digging.

India's eastern state has large reserves of coal mines, mostly under government control, but widespread illegal and unsafe mining activity prevails.

At least 24 people have died in accidents during illegal mining at Eastern Coalfield sites in the country's Nirsa region in the past four years, according to government records.

Eastern Coalfield spokesman Kaushik Gupta told The National the incident involved illegal miners.

“They were not employed by the company. We have taken up the matter with local authorities.”

Updated: February 02, 2022, 12:31 PM