CCL manager PK Singh’s mother with his daughter in Dhori on Thursday. Picture by Pankaj Singh
Bokaro, Aug. 30: The body of manager P.K. Singh was fished out late last night from a flooded Dhori colliery, but a second pump pressed into service by a recalcitrant Central Coalfields Ltd failed to drain the mine in Bermo more than 48 hours after an accident killed two of its officers.
Around 10pm, rescuers who were inside the mine with searchlights, noticed a shining object in the water which turned out to be Singh’s watch — still on the manager’s wrist even as his body drifted along.
His wife Geeta Devi was waiting with relatives outside, hoping against hope. But she fainted the moment the rescuers brought out Singh’s body from the mine. It was sent for post-mortem to Chas (Bokaro).
Later, GM of Dhori colliery Charan Singh handed over job offers to Geeta Devi and Savita Devi, wife of mining sardar Abhay Kant Yadav, who was also killed in the accident while they were in the mine to check out a leak on Tuesday afternoon.
The widows accepted the letters of appointment, but blamed the CCL management for delaying rescue efforts, something they believed cost their husbands their lives.
Miners, who had gathered outside the colliery immediately after Tuesday’s accident, alleged that CCL ignored safety considerations while allowing the two officers and a supervisor to go down to the mine to inspect a leak.
The moment they touched on the affected area with their implements, the wall collapsed, leading to a sudden gush of water that flooded the mine, burying two of them under a rubble of coal.
Inexplicably, CCL used only one pump to drain the 1,500sqm mine bed throughout Tuesday and yesterday. It was only after sustained protests from bystanders, did the PSU arrange for a second pump which was pressed into service last night.
Families of Yadav and Singh have, therefore, alleged that crucial time was wasted.
Later, CCL director (technical) T.K. Nag admitted mistakes were committed by officials and employees who did not take adequate precautions because of which the accident occurred.
“Three separate inquiries have been launched. Unless we get their reports, we will not be able to fix responsibility,” he told journalists after arriving here in the evening.