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Jharkhand mine collapse: Warning ignored

employees, officials and other persons concerned have been recorded and a case of causing death due to negligence has been registered against officials of the private company. Further probe is on,” said Chouhan.
Eyewitnesses said that the mudslides happened when workers were trying to extract coal “from an old dump under mud and boulders that had been extricated earlier”.
“There was some coal beneath, which they were trying to extract. But the dump had not hardened enough and dents in the base made it slide all over,” said Mohammad Rab, a driver, who escaped the tragedy as he was waiting for his shift to begin at 9 pm.
Rab claimed that mudslides had begun as early as 4 pm but the warning signs were ignored. “Our (drivers and operators) camps are at the top of an old dump. Even if we are not on duty, we usually live here, within the premises of the coal mine. Yesterday, the first alert was sounded around 4 pm. But some temporary repair was done in the cracks that developed and work continued. A bigger chunk of mud slid around 6 pm. Even then, the alert was not heeded. Then, when the major slide occurred around 7.45 pm, no one had any time to react. They were buried under heaps of mud and boulders,” he said.
Rajan, another driver who was off duty when the incident occurred, alleged that minor mudslides had been happening at the site “for at least four to five months”.
“Every time we would spot movement of mud downwards, we would alert the staff of the company. But they used to continue with work despite knowing that the side they were working on was actually an old dump,” he alleged.
ECL officials at the spot refused to comment, except to say that a probe has been ordered into the accident. Representatives of Mahalaxmi Private Limited were not available for comment.
Government officials said that the Director General of Mines Safety has instituted an inquiry into the incident. “The central government and ECL have announced an ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakh each and the state government Rs 2 lakh each to relatives of the dead,” said officials.

About Ashok Palit

Ashok Palit has completed his graduation from Upendranath College Soro, Balasore and post graduation from Utkal University in Odia Language and literture.. He has also carved out a niche for himself as a scribe of eminence after joining the profession in 1988. He is also an independent media production professional. He brings loads of experience to Advanced Media, Ashok Palit as a cineaste has been active in film criticism for over three decades. As a film society activist, he soared to eminence for his profound commitment to the art film appreciation and aesthetics of cinema. His mode of discourse is often erudite but always lucid and comprehensible marked by a perfect acumen so rare in the field. A film aesthete with an immense fond of critical sensibilities, he wrote about growth and development of odia cinema in New Indian Express, The Times of India, The Hindustan Times, The Asian Age and Screen. He has been working as an Editor for Cine Samaya from 2002-2004.. He had made solid contribution on cinema in many odia Dailies and weekly such as Samaj, Prajatantra, Dharatri, Samaya, Satabadi, and weekly Samaya.

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