PEDDAPALLI: After a 60-hours-long arduous operation, the SCCL rescue teams have retrieved three bodies of miners trapped under a rubble of coal in the underground coal mine at Adriyala Long wall Project in Ramagundam (RG-3) area in the district in the early hours of Wednesday.
The rescue operation which turned out to be SCCL’s longest ever, worked throughout the night without respite but could not save them. By the time they reached them, they were all dead. The deceased were identified as Area Safety Officer S Jaya Raj, Assistant Manager Tejavath Chaitanya Teja and contract worker Thota Srikanth.
The rescue team which began its operation on Monday after the roof of the underground mine collapsed on the workers, managed to rescue three workers but could not when it came to the other three as reaching them took quite a long time.
As they were buried under coal blocks which reach a height of 15 metres, the team had to struggle to reach them. Even as they were making progress in reaching them, it was hampered as more coal blocks came off loose and lay over them
The mishap occurred on Monday when the miners were trying to secure the underground mine which had collapsed about 20 days ago at 86 and 87 levels. The collapse then was triggered when the workers were trying to replace a weak sidewall pillar with a strong one.
Ravinder, whom the SCCL team rescued said: “After reaching the vulnerable area, the Assistant Manager sensed the lurking danger and alerted us but within no time the roof collapsed. I survived luckily with minor injuries. It is a rebirth to me,” he said.
The roof that collapsed on Monday was 40 metres wide and 15 metres in height. Coal workers and union leaders questioned the management how the accident could occur if the Adriayla Long Wall Project is the most modern one as they claim. They said all along they had doubts about safety of the miners who worked in the project.
Meanwhile, victims’ families staged protest for handsome ex-gratia and job for family members.As the bodies were brought out, they broke down, seeing them. They kept crying inconsolably for some time.