A 58-year-old coal miner was killed Monday allegedly after being trapped in an underground mine at the Barka-Sayal area of Central Coalfields Ltd (CCL) in Ramgarh, police said.
A company official, however, claimed it could be a case of suicide as he entered the underground mine by violating norms. Bhagat was trapped while drawing a coal-laden mini-wagon from the mine, police officer Prakash Chandra Mahato said.
The rescue team took him to CCL's local hospital, where doctors declared him brought-dead, Mr Mahato said.
Ajay Kumar Singh, the general manager of Barka-Sayal area, said it might be a case of suicide, as he was a surface worker and entered the underground mine without assignment.
"There is a safe entrance to the underground mine which is used by workers, as well as officials deployed in the underground mines.
"But, violating safety norms of the mine, the worker entered nearly 50 metres deep through prohibited haulage way, which is meant for trolley movement," Mr Singh said.
As the worker was nearing retirement, it is suspected that he might have committed suicide to ensure a job for his family member, in lieu of provisions of giving employment to a dependent if a worker died during service period, he said.
The management has started a probe into the incident, while an inquiry has been initiated by the Directorate of Mine Safety.