AP govt orders judicial probe into mine disaster

Andhra Pradesh government today ordered a judicial probe into the Karimnagar mine disaster which claimed 17 lives even as dewatering operations were on in the mining area to trace the bodies.

india Updated: Jun 18, 2003 12:50 IST

Andhra Pradesh government today ordered a judicial probe into the Karimnagar mine disaster which claimed 17 lives even as de-watering operations were on in the mining area to trace the bodies.

The judicial inquiry would be headed by a sitting High Court judge, the chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu said after visiting the accident site and personally reviewing the salvage operations.

Confirming the death of 17 miners who were trapped following a sudden gush of waters into the Godavarikhani mining area, Naidu announced an ex-gratia of Rs six lakh each to the victims.

As a pall of gloom descended on the coalmine town, about 70 km from Karimnagar, the Chief Minister arrived in a helicopter to supervise salvage operations.

Naidu had to face angry relatives of the disaster victims and employees who complained of lack of proper safety measures in the mines.

Meanwhile, heavy-duty pumps were being used to drain out nearly five lakh gallons of water that had gushed into the mining area, trapping the miners.

A fissure in one of the coal seams had led to sudden gushing of waters into the 'Seven LEP' (Life Extension Project) mine. As a result, a portion of the mine caved in blocking the exit route.

It is first time in the 100 year old history of Singareni Collieries that such inundation occurred in the underground mine. There are 16 underground mines in Ramagundam division of SCCL.

First Published: Jun 18, 2003 12:50 IST