Rescuers pulled out two more bodies Friday from the rubble of a collapsed coal mine in eastern India, taking the death toll to 10, police said, as many were still feared trapped.
A massive mound of earth caved in late Thursday at the Lalmatia open cast mine in Jharkhand state, burying at least 23 miners and dozens of vehicles as hundreds of workers battled overnight to rescue them.
“Up till now, 10 bodies have been recovered after two more were pulled out. Coal mine authorities believe that there may be 2-3 more dead bodies inside,” Jharkhand police spokesman, RK Mallick, told AFP. “Total dead should not be more than 13 or 14, as per assessment.”
He added that it was difficult to know how many may be trapped, but said close to a dozen were still unaccounted for.
Some of the workers had escaped the disaster site following the collapse, Mallick said, with unconfirmed media reports putting the number trapped at 50.
Images showed the dead covered with white sheets on makeshift quilts as colleagues and locals looked on at the rescue efforts.
Police and emergency workers used sniffer dogs, earth movers and their bare hands to remove giant rocks and mangled, overturned trucks to locate the trapped workers under tons of earth.