Date of the Accident – 9.11.1911
Owner – East India Coal Co.
Number of persons killed -14
Place – Jharia Coalfield
This was the first explosion to have occurred in the Jharia coalfield where underground mines had been worked for several decades. The explosion occurred in 13 seam which varied in thickness from 4.8 m to 7.6 m and lay at a depth of about 65 m. The colliery was worked with naked lights and no trace of firedamp had ever been detected.
Spontaneous heating had started in the goaf on the rise side of the shafts. Stoppings were being built to control the fire. Three stoppings had been completed and two were built to over half the gallery height when work had to be discontinued on 8th November due to fire-stink. The explosion occurred the next day (9.11.1911) at about 9 a.m. At the time of the explosion 16 men and 5 women were present belowground. Of these 4 men and all the women were killed outright, one man fell down the pit when coming up and was killed. 11 men were rescued alive but all of them were badly burnt and 4 died subsequently. The total death toll was therefore 9 men and 5 women.
The Inquiry Officer concluded that inflammable gas had been produced due to the distillation of coal by the fire which also provided the source of ignition to the inflammable mixture.
This disaster drew attention to the need for formation of panels with substantial barriers of coal between them so that goaved out panels could be isolated from active workings and spontaneous fires in goaves could be controlled.