Jamshedpur, Sept. 22: Two persons were killed and another feared dead when the roof of a tunnel where they were digging for precious stones caved-in in Ghatshila subdivisionís Gurabandha, 85km from the city, yesterday evening.
Sources said the administration after a daylong rescue operation has recovered the bodies of Rabi Murmu (35) and Baijnath Murmu (45), while Jhupal Murmu (50) was still missing. Rescue operations would continue tomorrow, officials said.
Ghatshila subdivisional officer Sandeep Bakshi said they got to know of illegal mining activities in the area only after the cave-in yesterday. He claimed that around 150 villagers were digging for precious stones like sapphire and emerald at the foothills of Thurkagoda.
East Singhbhum rural SP Rajiv Ranjan said a case of unnatural death has been lodged and the police were on the lookout for the mafia, which used villagers to carry out the mining . ďIt is surprising how the forest department failed to notice that their land was being used for illegal mining,Ē Ranjan said.
Compensation of Rs 10,000 each has been paid to the families of the victims.