With the recovery of one more body on Saturday, the death toll climbed to 17 in the coal mine collapse at Lalmatia open cast coal mine of Eastern Coalfields Ltd (ECL), the worst such disaster in over a decade.
R R Mishra, officiating CMD of ECL, a Coal India subsidiary told PTI, “We have recovered one more body at 10.30 AM. The total bodies recovered so far are 12”.
“We have also recovered one more machine. 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 they should not fall,” he said.
Danger zones have been declared around the place of incidents to restrict the entry of people there. Moreover, the district commissioner has also stationed police and CISF officials to restrict entry of people in the danger zone, Mishra said.
“We have also called experts from outside to help us in the rescue operation. We have fully ensured that the rescue operations are done with proper safety measures. We have also come up with Standard Operating Procedures which would help us in proper operations so that there is no loss to lives,” Mishra added.
Heavy machinery was deployed as rescuers, including those from the NDRF, toiled through the day yesterday extricating bodies and looking for survivors.
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.
Mishra said the incident occurred at around 7.30 PM on Thursday when excavators were working there following which rescue operations was launched immediately.
Senior officials of Director General of Mines Safety (DGMS) have arrived at the site and launched an inquiry.
All 12 excavators and dump trucks which were swamped under the debris have been recovered.