Another coal mine disaster: 3 dead, one missing in state-owned mine in Bengal
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Another coal mine disaster: 3 dead, one missing in state-owned mine in Bengal

At least three villagers died on Thursday when a portion of a coal mine collapsed in Barjora area of West Bengal’s Bankura district, about 178 km from Kolkata.

india Updated: Jan 31, 2019 23:12 IST
Koushik Dutta
Koushik Dutta
Hindustan Times, Midnapore
coal,mine,Bengal
Rescuers work at the site of a coal mine that collapsed in Ksan, in Meghalaya. (REUTERS/FILE PHOTO)

At least three villagers died on Thursday when a portion of a coal mine caved in on them in the Barjora area of West Bengal’s Bankura district, about 178 km from Kolkata.

The incident took place 48 days after 15 people went missing in a flooded coal mine in Meghalaya.

Six villagers had gone down the mine when the cave-in took place. Police officers identified the dead as Biswanath Bagdi, (50), Habal Bagdi (60) and a woman, Kali Bagdi (50). Another woman Rinku Barui, 22, was missing. Two others, identified as Ranjit Bagdi and Sumitra Bagdi, were rescued and taken to the state-run Bankura Sammilani Medical College and Hospital in a serious condition. The incident took place around 8 am. The mine belongs to West Bengal Power Development Corporation Limited (WBPDCL).

“We (WBPDCL) got the mine from Bengal Emta (a private company). However, since we are yet to get the land rights, we are unable to post security guards. It’s a very unfortunate incident,” said power minister Sovandeb Chattopadhyay.

“I have asked the chairman and managing director of West Bengal Power Development Corporation Limited to conduct an inquiry and submit a report,” said Chattopadhyay. “Sumitra went down to collect coal for cooking. Locals rescued her,” said Ananta Bagdi, a relative of the rescued woman.

“What has happened is very sad and unfortunate. We rushed to the area as soon as we heard about the accident. The spot where the mishap took place is about 70 feet deep,” said Alok Mukherjee, a Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader and member of the local village council.

“I have asked the police to conduct proper investigation and submit a report,” said Uma Shankar S, the district magistrate of Bankura.

Policemen are present at the spot and the search operation is continuing. If anything illegal has taken place, we will take steps, said Uma Shankar.

First Published: Jan 31, 2019 23:12 IST