By Misha Bhatt
Mumbai, Nov 3, 2019: The management of Eastern Coalfields Limited on November 3 rescued around 70 laborers trapped inside a coal mine for more than 15 hours.
“Due to the malfunction of both steam-powered and electric-powered lifts, these workers were trapped. Later we rescued around seventy laborers after we restarted the lift via steam,” an official of Eastern Coalfields Limited (ECL) management said. Meanwhile, the trapped are blaming the officials for the mishap.
“We were terrified after we saw the lifts were not working. Our families were really worried about us. This happened because of the safety officer. It’s all because of the carelessness of the authorities. We came here to work at the coal mine around 11 pm on Saturday and were supposed to work till 7 am on Sunday. We were taken out around 10:30 am,” one of the laborer named Prem Said.
Adding further he said, “We want the police to arrest the safety officer and interrogate him”.
So far there have been no reports of any worker being injured while being trapped in the lifts in the mine.
With having coal mines in Jharkhand and West Bengal, ECL was founded post nationalization of coal mines in India in 1975. The company inherited all the private sector coal mines of the Raniganj Coalfield.
The ECL is also one of the fully owned subsidiaries of Coal India Limited. The ECL has its headquarters at Sanctoria, in West Bengal.
With having around 72,973 employees, ECL had proved reserves of 16.94 billion tons – 12.42 billion tons in West Bengal and 4.52 billion tons in Jharkhand. Total reserves in the ECL command area, up to a depth of 600 m, was 49.17 billion tons (figures are till the year 2012).