PATNA, India (AP) — Rescue workers have recovered the bodies of 16 miners buried after 23 miners were trapped by a mound of fallen earth in eastern India, police said Saturday.
R.K. Malik, the police spokesman for the state of Jharkhand, where the mine was located, said that hopes of finding any survivors among the remaining seven miners still missing were slipping.
The collapse happened late Thursday, but heavy smog prevented rescue workers from entering the open coal mine in Godda district until early Friday morning.
Godda is around 1,570 kilometers (975 miles) southeast of New Delhi.
The coal mine is owned by the state government, but is leased to a private contractor.
Jharkhand is one of India's poorest states, but has some of the largest mineral deposits in the country.