Dhanbad, Aug. 22: As many as 82 miners had a narrow escape when an overflowing rivulet inundated a mine in Barari colliery under BCCL’s Lodna area, about 18km from district headquarters, early this morning.
According to sources, Chahkari rivulet, swollen due to incessant rain since yesterday morning, broke its mud embankments and entered seam Nos. 11 and 12 of the mine around 4.30am.
The BCCL management promptly swung into action and evacuated all 82 workers. As precautionary measure, it also suspended all mining operations and did not send 180 workers for the next shift.
Several senior officials of the BCCL’s Lodna area, including general manger D.C. Manjhi, project manager M.K. Pandey and chief manager C.K. Prasad, rushed to the site to take stock of the situation.
Barari colliery manager Parwej Alam said the mine was evacuated as soon as reports of water seepage came. “Entry of labourers into the mine will be allowed only after taking safety measures,” said Alam.
Officials of the coal major also held a detailed meeting with villagers on measures to divert the rivulet that passes through Brahmandiha, Bhulan Barari and Modivita villages. Villagers agreed to allow the diversion when BCCL officials accepted their demands, including roads, home repairs and power supply.
On getting nod of villagers, BCCL wasted no time to start diversion work.
However, president (Lodna area), All India Trade Union Congress, V.K. Tiwari, blamed BCCL management for the near-mishap. “Pucca embankments around the rivulet should have been made before monsoon,” Tiwari said.