HYDERABAD, India (AP) _ A coal mine collapsed in southern India on Monday, with at least 17 miners feared killed, officials said.

Rescuers were trying to reach the miners, who were trapped 490 feet below the surface when an underground pillar fell due to a rush of water. It was unclear what caused the flooding.

``There are casualties. But it has to be confirmed as we are yet to see the bodies. Chances of their survival is very remote,'' Vekateshwara Rao, an official at the Singareni Colleries in southern Andhra Pradesh state, told New Delhi Television.

The state-owned mines are located in Karimnagar district, 140 miles north of Hyderabad, the capital of Andhra Pradesh state.