35 feared dead due to flash flood in ECL mine
Purulia, Aug 5: At least 35 villagers of Guntigura, who were trapped in an abandoned ECL mine on August 2, are feared dead, offical sources said.
The accident occurred when a flash flood swept the mine under Neturia police station area some 250 km west of Kolkata.
Eastern Coalfields Limited's rescue party reached the spot on August 3 but failed to retrieve anyone from the pit.
CPI(M) MP Basudeb Acharia, who visited the area, said the relatives of the victims informed him that about 30 to 35 people were trapped in the mine when water gushed in. He said he would go to New Delhi to press for stoppage of illegal mining.
However, Purulia district's Superintendent of Police Asoke Kumar Prasad said he was not sure of the exact number of trapped persons.
The sources said the victims were extracting coal illegally from the abandoned mine.
According to the rescue party, water could not be pumped out as the mine wall had broken down and water from the river Damodar was pouring in.
The Neturia police station officer had rushed to the spot with reinforcments to conduct rescue operations but could not succeed in saving anyone.
Coal Minister Sibu Soren is expected to reach the spot today.