Four feared dead in mishap in Coal India mine in Odisha

Four feared dead in mishap in Coal India mine in Odisha

Four workers are feared dead and nine have been injured in a landslide at a Coal India Ltd mine in the eastern state of Odisha, a company spokesman said on Wednesday. (DH Photo)

Four workers are feared dead and nine have been injured in a landslide at a Coal India Ltd mine in the eastern state of Odisha, a company spokesman said on Wednesday.

India is one of the most dangerous countries to be a coal miner, with one worker dying every seven days on average in 2018 in mines operated by state-run Coal India and Singreni Collieries Co Ltd, according to government data.

The open cast mine in Odisha, with a production capacity of 20,000 tonnes a day, had been shut after the late Tuesday accident, Dikken Mehra, a spokesman for Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd, a Coal India subsidiary told Reuters.

"It will take at least a week to resume operations," Mehra said.

India's numerous illegal mines, often in remote hilly terrain, also have a poor safety record, although there is little data as many accidents go unreported.

In December, at least 15 miners were trapped in an illegal "rat-hole" coal mine in the northeastern state of Meghalaya.

Thousands of workers in Meghalaya, including children, have been killed in the so-called rat-hole mines, in which miners crawl into narrow shafts on bamboo ladders to dig for low-quality coal.