At least nine Indian miners have been killed and nearly two dozen trapped when mine waste collapsed at a coalfield run by state-owned Coal India Limited , officials said.
The accident occurred in Jharkhand state on Thursday evening at the Lalmatia mine owned by Eastern Coalfields Limited, a subsidiary of the world's largest miner.
"So far, nine bodies have been recovered," RR Amitabh, a general manager at the ECL project office said.
A rescue operation was underway and the exact number of people trapped had yet to ascertained, he said.
Coal India has a poor safety record, with 135 accidents reported last year, killing 37 people and injuring 141, the company said in a report, highlighting concern about working conditions.
Operations at the mine have been stopped, Amitabh said.
Mine waste piled up near the mine caved in, state police spokesman RK Mullick said.
"At that time, about 40 people were working in the mine and some of them managed to escape. Some of them have injuries," Mullick said.
The operation of the mine had been outsourced to a private company, Mr Mullick said.
The federal Coal Ministry has ordered an investigation.