Nine miners were killed and several others feared trapped following a mishap in Lalmatia opencast coal mine at Rajmahal area of Eastern Coalfields Ltd (ECL) last night.

“So far, bodies of seven miners have been recovered from the mine. Rescue work is on,” R R Mishra, officiating CMD of ECL, said.

There was a cave-in at the mine in Godda district at around 7.30 pm last night when excavators and tippers were working there following which rescue operations were launched immediately, Mishra said.

Director General of Mines Safety and senior officials were there to supervise the rescue operation, Mishra said.

Police said two persons were injured in the incident and were being treated at a hospital.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to Chief Minister Raghubar Das over phone and took stock of the situation. The PM said Jharkhand Government and Coal Minister Piyush Goyal were “working to restore normalcy”.

The National Disaster Relief Force (NDRF) has been engaged for rescue & relief operations.

Expressing sorrow, the Jharkhand Chief Minister on Friday announced assistance of Rs two lakh for the families of the miners who died in the accident. He also announced Rs 25,000 to the injured, official sources said.

“All senior officials have been asked to stay at the site,” the CM said on Twitter.