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Jharkhand: Two more bodies recovered, Lalmatia colliery mishap toll rises to 18

With the recovery of two more bodies on Sunday, the death toll climbed to 18 in the coal mine collapse at Lalmatia open cast coal mine of Eastern Coalfields Ltd (ECL) in Godda district.

R R Mishra, officiating CMD of ECL, a Coal India subsidiary, today said, “Two more bodies were recovered. So in total 18 bodies have been recovered so far.”

The fog was dense in the morning. But since there is less fog now so the rescue operation is still under way, he said.

Mishra said two more machines have been recovered .

“In total, so far 18 machines have been recovered, “he added.

Sniffer dogs have also been pressed into service, he said.

Mishra had on Sunday said, “We are carrying on the rescue operation in a systematic manner so that the situation does not aggravate as the debris is too much and it should not fall.”

Danger zones have been declared around the place of incidents to restrict the entry of people there. Moreover, police and CISF officials have been stationed to restrict entry of people in the danger zone, he had said.

Central Mine Planning and Design Institute (CMPDIL), the consultancy arm of Coal India Ltd, has deployed magneto meters along with imaging system for locating magnetic and conductive material up to a depth of 80 meters, the statement said.

The incident occurred at around 7.30 PM on December 29 when a massive mound of earth came crashing down on excavators at Lalmatia open cast coal mine of Eastern Coalfields Ltd (ECL), the worst such disaster in over a decade.

The rescue operations was launched immediately after the incident.

Senior officials of Director General of Mines Safety (DGMS) had arrived at the site and launched an inquiry into the incident.

Thirteen excavators and dump trucks which were swamped under the debris were recovered.