The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Roof caves in on miners

Dhanbad, Sept. 6: At least 54 miners are feared trapped inside BCCL’s Bhatdih coalmines at Mahuda, about 36 km from here, after its roof caved in following a huge underground explosion around 8.45 pm.

There were 58 workers inside the mine when the blast rocked the place. Four of them have been rescued.

Shocked by the explosion, said sources, the workers made a dash for the exit, but their attempt proved futile as dense smoke of methane gas enveloped the mine. Unconfirmed reports said underground fire has broken out in the pit.

An alert was sounded immediately after the blast rocked the place and a team from Dhansar rushed to the spot and started rescue operations around 9.15 pm.

As the mine did not have a lift, the rescue team initially dropped ropes to bring out the trapped workers.

After almost half-an-hour, four workers, one after the other, came out of the mine in a semi-conscious state taking help of the rope. All of them sustained severe burn injuries.

Of the four rescued miners, three have been identified as Jay Lal, Nunu Lal Majhi and Budhan, all residents of Nagda village. They have been rushed to BCCL’s Bhatdih hospital.

Two more rescue teams — from Bastacolla and Minidih — joined the team from Dhansar and entered the mine, but none of them had come out till midnight. Nor has any more workers.

Around 2,000 weary relatives of the trapped workers and villagers waited outside.

The police have cordoned off the area to avert any untoward incident.

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