The worst accident in Indian mining history occurred at Chenkauri Colliery belonging to the Bengal Coal Company, a British concern.
G.V. The Asanol Colliery.
S.V.Pan up The colliery winding wheel.
S.V. The pithead area littered with sand and jute bags.
L.V. Showing a blackened patch at the mouth of the burned out pit.
G.V. Some of the miners sitting sadly at the pithead thinking no doubt of their fellow workers who perished.
S.C.U. Native worker.
S.L.V. Workers emptying the sand which is to be used for sealing the pit, from a lorry, on to the conveyor belt.
S.V. Emptying sand on to the conveyor belt.
G.V. Miners seated on the ground.
L.V. Piling the sand on to a conveyor belt.
S.V. Relatives awaiting news.
S.V. Wives and widows of the injured and killed.
S.T.V. Relatives of the injured squatting by the Company offices.
S.C.U. Wives and widows.
L.V. The pithead.
G.V. The pithead.
G.V. The Company's hospital.
G.V. The ward containing some of the survivors from the disaster.
L.V. The survivors in the ward.
S.V. Two of the survivors.
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Background: The worst accident in Indian mining history occurred at Chenkauri Colliery belonging to the Bengal Coal Company, a British concern. Chenkauri is about 10 miles south-west of Aransol, in West Bengal.
About 182 workers were engaged in the pit when suddenly an explosion took place trapping the men in the mine. Simultaneously with the explosion came fire, rendering rescue work impossible. The Chief Inspector of Mines rushed to the spot from Calcutta to supervise rescue operations. After all efforts to extinguish the fire had failed, the Chief Inspector ordered that the affected area be flooded.
Immediately two pumps, capable of one lack gallons an hour, were brought into operation. This was of no avail, and all efforts being fruitless, the pit was sealed off, as by then all the entombed men were dead.
When our reporter reached the mine the fire was under control, but the sealing-off operations were still in programs.
The Company has awarded an immediate ex-gratia payment of 100 Rs to the widows of the deceased men. Among those killed was the assistant manager.
About fifteen who were rescued on the first day are lying seriously ill in the Company's hospital. It is one of the most modern hospitals in India.