Two workers of the Eastern Coalfield Ltd (ECL), a subsidiary of the state-run Coal India Limited, died Sunday morning after a chunk of the roof collapsed on them at a colliery in West Burdwan district.
The deceased have been identified as Chandrasekhar Giri, 42, and Kalweshwar Mahato, 40. Giri was the leader of the group working at pit no. 2 of Khottadihi Colliery, in Khottadihi, Pandabeshwar, while Mahato was his co-worker.
“The accident at took place around 4.20 am, while the workers were working at least 700 ft underground,” said Abhishek Modi, deputy commissioner of Asansol, Durgapur Police Commissionerate.
“A chunk of the roof of the colliery collapsed suddenly, following which Giri and Mahato were killed. All attempts by their fellow workers to rescue them failed. We are investigating whether there was a lapse in the security system of the colliery,” he added.
When senior ECL officials reached the spot, they faced an agitation by colliery workers, who alleged that despite repeated warnings by them, ECL authorities had ignored safety hazards. A disaster management group was also pressed into action in the area.
“We have already taken necessary measures and precautions for the workers who work in the colliery. We will look into what led to the collapse,” said Bikash Chandra Das, assistant, manager of the colliery.