Bodies of 3 men recovered from abandoned mine in Bengal
National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) was called in after police and a rescue team of Eastern Coalfields Ltd failed to go down the hole that was just about four feet wide. The NDRF team started work on Thursday morning.Updated: Oct 18, 2019 14:54 IST
Rescuers have pulled out the bodies of three men from in an abandoned coal mine in Kulti area of West Bengal’s West Burdwan district on Thursday night, more than four days after they were trapped inside.
Binay Murmu, 32, Kalicharan Kisku, 22, and Santosh Marandi, 25—all locals—had descended into the hole to extract coal and were trapped inside on Sunday afternoon.
They were among four men who went down, but one managed to come out.
“Decomposition had set in when the bodies were found,” Asansol Durgapur Police’s additional deputy commissioner of Anamitra Das said.
The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) was called in after police and a rescue team of Eastern Coalfields Ltd failed to go down the hole that was just about four feet wide. The NDRF team started work on Thursday morning.
“As there was no map of the coal mine there were difficulties in entering the pit, which was virtually a rat hole. Besides, there were toxic gases down there,” NDRF’s deputy commandant Abhay Kumar Singh said.
NDRF personnel had to make the hole wider and extract the toxic gases before going down, said Singh.
The challenge did not end there.
“When Para Singh and Durgesh Chandra Yadav, two members of the team, descended they found there is a sharp curve. Based on their description, we dug up another way to go down and reach the spot where they three were trapped,” added the officer.
Trinamool Congress leader and legislator of Kulti, Ujjwal Chatterjee, said they have asking the police and administration to fill up the illegal coal mines and holes where several locals have died over the years.
“The police also should increase vigil so that none can descend into these holes,” Chatterjee said.
There are many abandoned coal mines in the region and some locals illegally descend in those to collect coal, said police officers.
In February this year, three people drowned in a flooded illegal coal mine in Barjora area of the state’s Bankura district. Two others were injured in the accident but were rescued. They, too, had descended to extract coal.
“More than 50 persons have died in the coal mines in the past five years. But the actual number might be more as all deaths in the illegal coal mines are sometimes not reported,” deputy commissioner of police of Asansol Durgapur Police Avishek Gupta had said earlier in the week.