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Monday, Sep 23, 2019

3 feared dead as roof collapses during illegal mining in Dhanbad

The incident spot is within 20m of the Kapasara opencast mine, which is operated by an outsourced company named BGM&M (pvt) Limited.

ranchi Updated: Jan 24, 2019 11:33 IST
Pankaj Kumar
Pankaj Kumar
Hindustan Times, Dhanbad
Rescue team taking out body of the dead illegal miners from Kapsara coal mines of ECL that collapsed on Wednesday morning in Dhanbad January 23,2019
Rescue team taking out body of the dead illegal miners from Kapsara coal mines of ECL that collapsed on Wednesday morning in Dhanbad January 23,2019(Bijay-Hindustan Times)
         

Three persons were feared killed when a mine roof collapse during illegal mining activity next to the operative Kapasara opencast coal mine of Eastern Coalfields Limited (ECL). The incident occurred under Nirsa police station of Dhanbad district on Wednesday morning.

Police, the district administration, and the ECL management claimed that only one person had died in the incident, as the body of one person was pulled out of the debris. Locals, however, claimed that two more persons — they were identified as Dinesh Mahto of Shivdanga and Kanto Dey, resident of a place near Mugma High school — also died in the incident. The locals said that their family members took away the bodies soon after the incident, before the police could reach the spot, as they were involved in illegal mining.

Dhanbad deputy commissioner A Dodde, who reached the spot around noon along with senior superintendent of police (SSP) Kaushal Kishore, said, “Body of one person has been dug out from the debris. Attempts are on to identify the dead. The rescue team hasn’t found [any] more bodies in the area of collapse.” The SSP directed superintendent of police (rural) Aman Kumar to verify the claims of the other two deaths.

The incident spot is within 20m of the Kapasara opencast mine, which is operated by an outsourced company named BGM&M (pvt) Limited.

During his inspection, the Dhanbad deputy commissioner questioned Sadanand Suman, ECL’s area general manager, how illegal mining could go on that close to an operative coal mine. Talking to media persons, Dodde said, “A criminal case would be filed against the ECL general manager, the manager of the outsourced company operating the mine, besides other concerned persons in the case.”

The DC said that it was sheer negligence on the part of the ECL management that they had not even posted security guards. “According to the contract, the outsourced company needs to post 20 security personnel but not a single one was found on duty when the incident took place,” said Dodde.

He directed the SDM to ensure that entire area was secure by barbed wire and all openings created for illegal mining were closed by either controlled blast or by bulldozing them.

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First Published: Jan 24, 2019 10:39 IST