Burra Dhemo Colliery
Date of the Accident – 26.9.1956
Owner – North Dhemo Coal Co.
Number of persons killed – 28
Place – Raniganj Coalfield
An accumulation of surface water entered the underground workings through pot-hole subsidence. There was an abnormally heavy rainfall on 25th September (315 mm) and 26th September, 1956 (142 mm) and all the water courses were flooded leading to submergence of the surrounding areas. The paddy fields above the workings of the colliery had 1.2 to 1.5 m of water. Increased percolation of water through the strata caused the roof over a gallery in old workings to collapse right through to the surface creating a hole of about 5 m x 1.6 m. Water rushed into the underground workings through this hole flooding all the dip workings in a couple of minutes. 28 persons working in the dip area were drowned. However, 11 persons who got trapped in the rise area due to the submergence of the exits (one shaft and one incline) came out after 19 days. How they had survived for those 19 days in the dark confines belowground and still had the strength to walk up the incline at the end of the ordeal is nothing short of a miracle.
In this mine similar subsidences had occurred in the outcrop area in 1941 and 1943. On both the occasions, water that had accumulated on the surface had entered the mine but fortunately no casualty had occurred. In view of the previous history of the mine, the manager should have withdrawn his men from the mine in anticipation of the danger.