At least four miners are reported to have died and several more are reportedly missing, following a collapse at an illegal coal mine in West Bengal, India. The incident happened at a mine in the village of Kalikapur in Bankura District on Thursday 12 January 2017, though details of the incident are unclear, as the mine's owners are reportedly refusing to co-operate with authorities.
The approximate location of the Kalikapur mine. Google Maps.
Illegal mining (mining without due licenses and adherence to mining regulations) is a significant problem in India, where output from legal mines often fails to meet the demand of the countries burgeoning industrial and construction sectors. As well as small artisanal mines (mines operated by small individual miners or groups using traditional methods) these illegal mines can include quite large operations run by criminal organisations or semi-legal businesses. Such operators can sometimes gain political capitol from the claim that mining regulations are a colonial imposition, even where the regulations being flouted are post-colonial rules on human rights, health and safety and environmental protection.
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