Date of the Accident – 19.3.1946
Owner – Oriental Coal Co.
Number of persons killed – 13
Place – Raniganj Coalfield
Begunia and Laikdih seams were worked as separate mines. Both the seams were gassy and safety lamps were used throughout the two mines. The accident occurred in the Laikdih seam which was normally about 24 m thick, but at this mine only the bottom 8 m was workable as the upper part of the seam had been burnt to “jhama”.
The explosion was one of firedamp and coal dust had played little or no part in it. Normally 30 to 40 persons were employed underground in each relay but as the day of accident was an important festival day, the number present was less as no miners, stone-cutters or trammers were at work. Auxiliary fans in rise galleries and stone-drifts remained stopped for a considerable length of time allowing gas to accumulate in dangerous quantities. The accumulation of gas was ignited by either a defective safety lamp or by smoking materials.
The Court of Enquiry into the above accident made the following recommendations:
- As five active fires of bamboo matting were started by the explosion, brattices constructed of non-inflammable material only should be used in all mines.
- Between the main airways of any mine ventilated by mechanical means, substantially constructed double-doors of non-inflammable material should be provided in order to prevent leakage.
- Whenever possible, the installation of auxiliary fans should be avoided and steps should be taken to ensure that the general ventilation of the mine is adequate to ventilate blind-ends.