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Portion of Abandoned Coal Mine in Kulti Collapses, Many People Feared Trapped Inside



January 9, 2023 - Many people are feared trapped after a portion of the roof of an underground abandoned coal mine in Damagoria in Kulti Police Station area collapsed upon them. The abandoned coal mine once belonged to the central public sector Bharat Coking Coal Limited (BCCL).

Local villagers claimed that today morning the pillars and a portion of the roof collapsed with a loud sound. At that time a number of illegal coal miners were inside. The area is at the West Bengal-Jharkhand border. The locals suspect that the trapped illegal coal miners are from Jharkhand and nobody from the village or West Bengal were trapped inside. Kulti Police and BCCL officials have reached the spot and are assessing the situation. So far no one has officially claimed that anybody of their family is trapped inside.

The rescue operations are yet to start.The BJP councillor of the ward number 17, Lalan Mehera said that very poor people are engaged in the illegal coal excavation trade and get Rs.100 per day. He has blamed the authorities for the collapse of the illegal coal mine.

“It is very difficult to tell from above how many people are trapped below ground. But if anyone is trapped, their chances of remaining alive is very less. Only after excavation it can be ascertained,”he added.The TMC Kulti leadership refuted his allegations and said that collapses in old and abandoned coal mines are common features in the area and no body has approached them claiming that people are trapped inside.