A coal mine collapse near the Dhanbad district in Jharkhand, India, has killed three people, reported the Hindustan Times.

The collapse occurred on 9 June at the coal mine located in the Bhowra Colliery area of Bharat Coking Coal (BCCL), approximately 21km from Dhanbad.

The coal mine was being mined by a private outsourced company.

Sindri deputy superintendent of police Abhishek Kumar was quoted by the media outlet as saying: “One body has been recovered. A number of deaths are being verified. We are waiting for BCCL’s report. Action will be taken according to the report.”

According to an eyewitness, several people from the local village were at the site undertaking mining operations at the time of the collapse.

The eyewitness said: “With the help of locals, three persons were brought out from the debris and taken to a hospital, where doctors declared them dead.”

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An official said that a committee has been set up to assess the incident.

Dhanbad Deputy Commissioner Sandip Singh was quoted by PTI via the Economic Times as saying: “A two-member committee has been set up to probe the incident that occurred at the Bhowra colliery area of BCCL. The committee will submit its report within 24 hours.

“I have also sought a report from BCCL about the incident and would take action against the outsourcing company if lapses are found on its part.”

Recently, the Indian Ministry of Coal said it would further reduce the import of high-capacity mining equipment to boost domestic production as part of the country’s objective of ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ (‘Self-reliant India’) and to promote ‘Make in India’.

The ministry is encouraging the development of domestic manufacturing capabilities. Some of the machines are under the trial procurement stage from local manufacturers.