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AP mine mishap: Four company officials suspended

June 20, 2003 23:30 IST

The Singareni Collieries Company Limited on Friday suspended four officials, holding them responsible for mine mishap at Godavarikhani that claimed 17 miners on June 16.

Executive Director T R K Rao told rediff.com that the preliminary inquiry report of the Internal Safety Organisation listed out human errors for the accident.

Based on the report the management has suspended four officials -- Additional General Manager J Nagaiah, Mine Manager Ravi Kumar, Mine Safety Officer Abdul Ghafoor and Mine Survey Officer P Papi Reddy. 

Seventeen miners met a watery grave when water suddenly gushed into the underground coal mine -- known as GDK 7 Life Extension Project -- from a breach in the northern side at the 18th level. The miners were trapped in 80 metres of water in the 110-metre deep mine. 

Despite immediate rescue attempts by special teams, consisting of 150 workers and a dozen officers of the company, they were unable to save anybody.

The decomposed bodies were retrieved after pumping out 620,000 gallons of water from the flooded mine.

Director General of Mines Safety Ravindra Sharma and his deputy General Bhaskar Bhattacharjee have commenced their inquiry into the accident.

Meanwhile, the Singareni Collieries authorities have compensated a total of Rs 2.37 crore to the dependents of deceased mine workers.

The cash benefits included special ex-gratia of Rs 600,000 announced by the government and Singareni management for each worker, apart from the normal benefits due from the company in the event of fatal accidents.

Syed Amin Jafri in Hyderabad