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14 dead in India coal mine collapse

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Fourteen people have died in an open cast coal site collapse in the east coast of India.

The accident took place on Saturday in the Sundargarh district in the state Odisha when a coal dump of company Mahanadi Coalfields Limited collapsed.

Rescue operations began immediately.

The death toll, which originally stood at ten, rose after rescue operations that restarted on Sunday found more bodies.

“Four more bodies were recovered from the mishap site at Kulda open cast Basundhara-Garjanbahal coal mine area after search and rescue operation resumed this morning,” an MCL spokesman said.

The death toll could continue to rise.

Five people were also rescued from the collapse with injuries and are being treated at a hospital.

The Times of India reports people from close-by villages were gathering coal from the overloaded dump yard near the mining site, according to the spokesman.

He said the coal dump unexpectedly caved in and buried the people, adding heavy rainfall could have partly caused the collapse.

It is illegal for people to enter the dump yard near the mine site, with warning signs around it, an MCL spokesman said.

But villagers from the region frequently go there to search for coal.

The chief minister of Odisha, Naveen Patnaik has launched an investigation into the accident by the local Revenue Divisional Commissioner.

The coal company and the government have also said it will pay Rs.300000 ($A5366.70) and Rs.200000 ($A3577.80) respectively to the families of the deceased.

MCL is also paying the families Rs.10000 ($A179) for the funeral, and also covering medical costs for the injured, the spokesman said.

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