Labourers trapped in coal mine for hours after lift shutdown
Kolkata: At least 70 labourers were trapped in a coal mine in Durgapur on Sunday morning after a lift, which they used to get inside the mine, was shutdown for maintenance work. The labourers were safely rescued after almost four hours.
According to sources, on Saturday night, several labourers went inside Parashkol coal mine in Durgapur. To get inside the coal mine they generally used a lift, which was being operated using steam pressure in a boiler.
The labourers were supposed to work till 8 am on Sunday. However, before they finished their work, the lift was shutdown early on Sunday morning for maintenance.
The steam inside the boiler, which operates the lift,was released. After the maintenance work started, it came to light that labourers were working inside the coal mine.
Labourers were panic-stricken after knowing about the situation.
Immediately, Eastern Coalfields Limited (ECL) authorities were informed by local trade union leaders.
It is alleged that the safety officer of the coal mine failed to perform his duty. Before shutting down the lift, he needs to ensure that no one is inside the mine.
However, ECL authority and coal mine employees were constantly in touch with the labourers through the communication system and made sure that the labourers don't fall sick.
Meanwhile, the process to restore the lift has been started.
After the boiler was operational, the lift was sent down to get the labourers.
After a few minutes all the labourers were brought up safely. Labourers demanded stringent action against the safety officer.
Sources informed that an inquiry has been ordered in this regard. After 12 pm, production of coal commenced again.