ECL surveyor missing from inside mine near Durgapur

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A surveyor with Eastern Coalfield Limited (ECL) who disappeared from inside the Khas kajora colliery in Durgapur’s Andal on 28 January could not be traced till last night. Meanwhile, authorities of national coal major ECL has pressed twelve-rescue teams in different sections of the Khas Kajora colliery to find out the trapped ECL surveyor.

Panchkori Nandi, 57, the surveyor of the Khas Kajora colliery under Kajora Area of the ECL, along with four others had gone to the unit No: VI of the mine on Tuesday morning for some survey work.

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Nandi complained of uneasiness and was having problems breathing because of the heat about 250ft below the surface. He was told to sit down and rest by his colleagues. But when the team returned after their survey, he was missing.

Ganesh Hansda, a miner who had accompanied Nandi said, ““He told us he was having problems breathing. We told him to sit down and take rest as we proceeded for inspection deeper into the mine. We returned within 15 minutes because of the heat but could not find Nandi. We thought he might have returned to the surface. But when we came up, Nandi had not returned,”

The miners informed senior ECL officials, who immediately launched a search and sent rescue teams into the pit.

Meanwhile, over 100 coalminers demonstrated yesterday at the colliery office and the office of the general manager of the Kajora mining area near Durgapur in phases since morning demanding that ECL trace Nandi soon. “ECL will have to find out Nandi soon. He has been missing for over 24 hours but why ECL’s rescue teams can’t find him,” said Kedarnath Maji, Nandi’s cousin and also a miner.

The miners in twelve other collieries like Jambad Open Cast Project, Paraskole (East & West), Madhusudanpur – VII went on mass cease work protesting against the alleged negligence of the ECl authority.

Police meanwhile interrogated the manager of the mine, Mr Samar Das, overman, Mr Routh and another surveyor Shyamal Karmakar after the family members complained that Nandi was receiving treats from a section of contractors as he had cited lapses in many parts of the mine.

The police said they had started a probe and detained a ECL surveyor, Shyamal Karmakar, for interrogation.

Barely a fortnight ago had one coalmine surveyor died because of methane emission in an underground mine near Ukhra.

Nandi, the missing ECL surveyor was transferred to the Khaskajora mine four months ago from the nearby Parashkol colliery. He lives in the colliery quarters with wife Aparna at Mukundapur village in Andal. Aparna today said she came to know that her husband had gone missing from neighbours and colleagues, not the ECL authorities.

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