A coal miner has been killed and three are feared trapped after a dump slide at an opencast mine in Talcher coalfields here, an official said on Wednesday.
Nine workers were also injured in the accident, he said.
The coal miners were working on earthmoving machines in the Bharatpur mine of the Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd (MCL) when the accident took place around 11.30 pm on Tuesday, trapping the 13 workers, the official said.
The workers came under a landmass as a portion of earth broke loose and collapsed due to a strata failure, MCL spokesperson Dikken Mehra said.
Fellow miners and rescue teams pulled out nine workers and shifted them to the company's hospital in Talcher, he said.
Body of a missing coal miner was recovered on Wednesday. An operation is underway to rescue the three workers who remain trapped under the debris, Mehra said.
The rescue operation is being carried out with the help of MCL's mines rescue team, local police and MCL security personnel.
Senior officials of the MCL, a subsidiary of Coal India Limited, have rushed to Talcher to oversee the rescue operation, Mehra said.
An inquiry committee, under the general manager (safety and rescue), has started an investigation to ascertain the cause of strata failure, he said.
The spokesperson termed "incorrect" media reports claiming that blasting led to the dump slide.
"This is factually incorrect as no blasting operation takes place during night hours in coal mines of the company," Mehra said.
There is a fixed schedule for blasting operations in all MCL mines with an early warning system, which ensures that no untoward incident takes place, he added.
The opencast mine has been closed following the dump slide and it will take over a week to resume operations.
Tension prevailed in the area, with locals staging a protest and blocking roads.
The adequate police force has been deployed in the area to prevent any untoward incident, police said.
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