Two illegal miners trapped inside coal mine

SINDRI: Although the government has launched hundreds of schemes for the development of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, the benefits of such schemes are yet to reach them. And when it becomes a question of survival, they put their lives to risk to ensure two square meals a day for their family members.It happened on Wednesday afternoon as well when four persons got trapped in a mine located near the south Tisra pond in their bid to extract coal illegally. Villagers, however, successfully pulled out two of the miners, who have been identified as Suresh Mochi and Lakshman Ravidas, around 5 in the evening. The fate of the other two trapped miners Panchanan alias Panchu and Manik Mochi is not known.

According to reports, villagers mostly belonging to Mochi Tola of Surunga under the Alakdiha outpost of the Jorapokhar police station in the district have been extracting coal illegally from the said mine for long. The villagers are learnt to have dug up nearly 30-ft deep holes on private lands. After extracting coal, they sell the same to local hard coke industries.

On Wednesday afternoon, when they were extracting coal from one such hole, a huge chunk of unstable earth crust fell on them and four of them got trapped inside. A crater measuring about 15×20 ft was created due to the subsidence.

Their companions standing on the surface of the earth raised an alarm and hundreds of villagers gathered on the spot to widen the hole. Sources claimed that the trapped persons were alive as they were still shouting for help.

According to villagers, the local officials of the south Tisra colliery of the BCCL were urged to engage heavy earth moving equipment to dig out the area. However, they refused to send vehicles on private land.

Meanwhile, the officer in-charge of the Alakdiha outpost, Yogendra Murmu, arrived at the spot and the villagers, too, pulled out Suresh Mochi and Lakshman Ravidas from the mine.

Villagers are trying to locate the whereabouts of the other two persons trapped inside the mine, Murmu told TOI over phone. “We have requested the colliery management to provide heavy earth moving equipment to expedite the exercise and save precious lives,” he said.


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