LONDON — As the dust settles from the devastating fire that swept through a coal mine in southern India, the first casualty in the industry is a coal mining company.
More than 200 miners are dead, hundreds more injured and the death toll could climb into the hundreds, with many of those still missing.
The death toll was not immediately clear.
More than 150 coal miners were killed and thousands of others injured when a coal-fired power plant in the southern Indian state of West Bengal caught fire on Saturday, officials said.
It is the worst coal-related fire in the country’s history.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said her state’s coal mines were ablaze.
“There are no safe mines in India and no safe workers,” she said.
“The fire has burned for six days and has caused the loss of lives.
There are no survivors.
There is no trace of anyone who died.”
Power stations in the state’s capital, Calcutta, were shut down for more than three hours, the Indian Express reported.
In a statement, West Bengal Power said that a total of 4,500 people were working in the power stations, including 1,500 miners, and that the company was taking every possible measure to provide them with the maximum safety measures.
Power plant officials told Reuters the fire was caused by the uncontrolled release of coal at the plant’s steam turbine, which produces steam that is used to power the steam turbine.
The coal fires in West Bengal, which is the world’s second-largest producer of coal, are being blamed for about 2,000 deaths.
India’s coal sector accounts for about 4% of global production.
It accounts for one-fifth of the countrys total carbon dioxide emissions.