Hyderabad: Three coal miners were killed and a few others sustained injuries in a blast at an open cast mine of Singareni Collieries Company Limited(SSCL) at Peddapalli district in Telangana on Tuesday. The mishap occurred when a blast to remove over burden (OB) misfired, killing the workers present at the site.

According to sources, the incident happened at the phase I of Open Cast Project (OCP-I) of Ramagundam region located at Centenary Colony in the district.

As the blast occurred while removing the soil, the workers were trapped under a huge heap of loose soil and died of asphyxiation. Bodies of the three workers were recovered and brought to the surface, while a search is on for another missing person, who is believed to have been buried under the soil. At least five more workers sustained injuries in the incident.

The bodies of the workers were shifted to Singareni area hospital at Godavarikhani for post-mortem, while the injured were also shifted to the same facility and their condition is said to stable.

This project was launched in 1974 and since then, it has become one of the major contributors by producing over 5 million tonne of coal per annum. Out of the 62.01 million tonne of coal production by SCCL, OCP-I alone has a share of 5 million tonne, which is the highest among all the mines operated by the SCCL.

Since then, 57.9 million tonne of coal has been extracted from this site, from the available reserves of 61 million tonnes. At present, coal is being extracted from OCP-1 project expansion Phase-I which has coal reserves of 61.5 million tonnes. Meanwhile, the SCCL management has also proposed expansion of the project Phase-II where there are around 59 million tonne of coal reserves

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