Seven killed in Odisha mine, probe ordered

Bhubaneswar, Aug 10 (IANS) At least seven people were killed and several others trapped after a pile of waste collapsed at an open cast mine of state-run Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd (MCL) in Odisha Saturday, officials said.

The state government has ordered a probe into the incident.

The accident occurred at the Basundhara mining area at Kulda in Sundergarh district, 450 km from Bhubaneswar, when about 15-20 villagers were collecting coal shell from the dump illegally, company spokesman Dikken Mehra said.

"We have repeatedly been warning them not to do so because it is dangerous. Despite that people were collecting coal shells," he said.

Of the nine people taken out so far, five had died while two succumbed on their way to hospital. Operations were on to locate others who were trapped, District Collector Bhupendra Singh Poonia said.

MCL chairman-cum-managing director A.N. Sahay said he has announced a compensation of Rs.3 lakh each for the families of those killed. "MCL will also bear the cost of the treatment of those injured," he told IANS.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik announced a compensation of Rs.2 lakh for each of the families of those killed.

He also directed the revenue divisional commissioner of the region to probe the incident and submit a report to the government, an official of the office of the chief minister said.


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