An extraordinary rescue act saved the life of 65 miners on this day at a colliery in Raniganj, about 180km from Kolkata.
The miners had been working on November 13 to excavate coal through blasts at Mahavir Colliery in Raniganj.
The explosions caused a wall in an underground area to crack. This led to flooding.
Six miners drowned and 65 miners remained trapped. Jaswant Singh Gill, a Coal India engineer in Raniganj, came up with the idea of making a steel capsule — 7ft high and 22 inches in diameter — and created a new borehole to lower the capsule into the mine. It took out the miners one by one.
The film Mission Raniganj: The Great Bharat Rescue, featuring Akshay Kumar, is based on the incident. The film was theatrically released last month. The rescue operation was completed in 6 hours. It was watched by an anxious crowd of thousands of
Gill, who later became engineer-in-chief of Coal India, recalled with pride how people went mad with joy when the last man had emerged from the capsule.