Five mining disasters that shook India
- Ten miners have been reportedly dead and 30 are trapped inside the coal mine at Godda district in Jharkhand on Friday night
- Here are the five most tragic mining accidents that shocked India
This mining operation was carried out by Mahalakshmi Company on behalf of Rajmahal Opencast Project of Eastern Coalfields Limited (ECL) at Paharia Bhodaye site in Godda district near Ranchi.
Hundreds of miners die due to accidents in the mines per year in India. Especially, coal mining and hard rock mining are risky. Deaths inside the mines occur due to many causes including leaks of poisonous gases such as hydrogen sulphide or explosive natural gases, especially firedamp or methane, dust explosions, collapsing of mine stopes, Mining Induced Seismicity, flooding, or general mechanical errors from improperly used or malfunctioning mining equipment.
Benxihu Colliery accident is termed as the worst mining tragedy in the world. On April 26 in 1942, the accident claimed 1,549 lives.
Below are the five horrific mining accidents which killed hundreds of miners in India.
Chinakuri Colliery disaster
The explosion at the Chinakuri Colliery (coal mine) occurred on February 19 in 1958 killed 182 people. The Colliery situated at Kulti in west Bengal was owned by the Bengal Coal Company Limited. The severe explosion forced the authorities to seal the entire area to prevent the fire from spreading. Shaheed Smarak was built in the memory of the miners who lost their lives in the tragic incident. Hindi film Kala Patthar released in 1979 is based on this incident.
Dhanbad coal mine disaster
The explosion which occurred on May 28 in 1965 at Dhanbad Coal Mine was so fierce that it killed 268 miners. The mine was privately owned by the Raja of Ramgarh. The incident is also known as Dhori Colliery disaster.
Another coal mine disaster rocked Dhanbad on December 27 in 1975 after a decade of the Dhori tragedy. This time an explosion at Chasnala coal mine which followed a flooding killed 372 miners. The explosion led to caving in of the roof and seven million gallons of water gushed inside drowning over 300 people working inside. The company was owned by Indian Iron and Steel Company.
New Kenda disaster
The New Kenda coal mine disaster on January 25 in 1994 in Bihar killed 55 people. Owned by Eastern Coalfields Ltd, the miners waited long for help but ended up after a painful death as the coal mine turned into a gas chamber filled with carbon monoxide. Experts opine that carbon monoxide was collected near the pit due to a fire that kept blazing for hours. Meanwhile, the sizable chunks of coal also came down and blocked the exit.
Gaslitand Colliery disaster
In 1995 from September 26 to 29, as many as 64 miners died due to breaching of river Katri into the mimes. The water from the river gushed inside the quarry through galleries. This was one of the oldest mines in the Jharia coalfield and was started in 1896. The ground level was lowered due to extraction of coal over a century. At places, the mining quarry was lower than the bed of the river.
The other tragedies including the one at Prascole in 1999 took killed six people due to teh roof collapse. In 2000, the Kawadi mine resulted in the death of 10 people due to failure of OC bench. In 2001, Bagdigi mine claimed the life of 29 miners who drowned. In the same year at Durgapur Rayatwari , Collapse of partings killed six miners. In 2003, at Godavari Khani 17 miners drowned, 14 miners drowned in 2005 at Central Saunda in Jharkhand.