Dhanbad(Jharkhand): Two miners are missing in the Eastern Coalfields Limited (ECL) Khudiya Kadan mine in Mugma area of the district after water flooded the underground mine, officials told PTI on Wednesday.
The official said that the four miners were engaged in de-watering the mine on Tuesday. Pump operator Basiya Manjhi (56) and his assistant, Manik Bauri (52), went missing when water suddenly flooded the seam of the underground mine at around 4 am.
On Wednesday, professional divers and NDRF teams launched a rescue operation for the two missing miners after local rescue teams failed to trace Manjhi and Bauri on Tuesday.
Vibhash Chandra Singh, General Manager, ECL Sanctoria, told reporters that aside from NDRF teams from Ranchi and Asansol, a six-member squad of divers from Odisha have been pressed into service to rescue the two miners. They have been trapped in the mines for over 30 hours now
“Besides, we have also pressed in four pumps for pumping out water from seam of Khudia colliery underground mines so that trapped miners could be brought out as soon as possible,” he said, according to PTI.
A.D. Mishra, Director of Directorate General of Mines Safety (DGMS) – the mines monitoring body in the country – also reached the spot with his team.
"Our first priority is to bring out the missing miners from the underground mine. We will then start a probe,” he said.
Samir Tudu, one of the miners who came out safely from the mine on Tuesday, said: “All of sudden a massive water flow stormed the spot where we were working.” He and fellow miner Vikash Bhuian managed to get out.
Between August 21, 2018 and February 5, 2020, there have been 51 fatal accidents in coal mines across the country, claiming 62 lives. There have been 121 serious accidents in mines during the same period, with serious injuries caused to 127 miners, said an agenda note by the Standing Committee on Safety in Coal Mines in its 44th meeting on February 12 this year.
Out of the total accidents, the note said, ECL – the company for which Manjhi and Bauri worked – lost 10 miners in nine accidents between August 21, 2018 and February 5, 2020.The most number of miners killed in accidents during the period – 16 in 12 different accidents – were at South Eastern Coalfields Limited (SECL), a miniratna and the largest coal producer in India.
The note also provided a breakdown of the year-wise fatalities in coal mines across India, mentioning that 67 coal miners lost their lives in fatal accidents in 2016, 56 in 2017, 50 in 2018 and 44 in 2019.
With PTI Inputs