Godavarkhani No. 8A
Date of the Accident – 17.10.2003
Owner – Singareni Collieries Company Ltd
Number of persons killed – 10
Place – Andhra Pradesh
- Extraction in panel No. 46B was started on 17th July, 2003, while extraction in adjoining panel No. 46A on the South Side, was still continuing. Panel No. 46A was sealed off on 30-9-2003. Panel No. 44 on the dip side and panel No. 41 on the North side of panel No. 46B had been extracted long ago.
- If whole pillars are considered, then line of extraction was diagonal. However the permission under Reg.100 required diagonal line of faces i.e. faces in the line of extraction should have been diagonal. But as already mentioned earlier, one half pillar to the South-east of the slice, where the accident occurred, had been extracted fully ahead of the diagonal line. Thus, in the truly diagonal line of face extraction, part of the load, which would have been borne by the half pillar, shifted to the rib at the site of accident.
- The first local fall occurred in night shift of 14.10.2003 followed by second one in night shift of 15.10.2003 and the third fall occurred on the night shift of 16.10.2003 causing the accident. The exposed area in the goaf was 5160 sq. m at the time of accident.
- Code of practice for induced blasting to bring down the hanging goaf should that exceed 4000 sq. m not followed in the sense that depth of shot holes had been reduced and also the additional shot holes for induced blasting parallel to the goaf required to be made when the hanging goaf are exceeded 4000 sq. m. were not completed in quick time.
- Reduction of rib also appeared to be more than what could be considered judicious for the situation.
- From the deposition before the Court and during the statutory inquiry by DGMS and also available records, it is apparent that there were indications of weighting in the working areas prior to the accident. Under the given geo-mining condition, weighting followed by the floor heaving could be expected before the local falls and the main falls indicating redistribution of the stresses. Apparently, the management failed to read the indications correctly.
- Extraction in panel No 46B had been started while extraction in panel 46A on the south side was still in progress. This accident occurred only about 16/17 days after adjoining panel was sealed off. So it can be safely concluded that movement in panel No. 46A had not completely stopped at the time of accident. Load transfer due to interaction of the stresses from the adjoining goaf probably led to the sudden dynamic loading for which the workers failed to get any early indication.
- In 2nd shift of 16-10-2003, 1st dip slice of 55-1/2 LS/9 Dip got connected to the goaf on the dip side and the rib on the south side was reduced by blasting. At about 1.00 A.M on 17-10-2003 (3rd shift of 16-10-2003), while loading of coal from the blasted rib was being done, in he presence of some coal-cutters, support personnel and the sirdar, a local fall occurred in the goaf which extended into the workings crushing the south side rib and ten persons were buried underneath it while two escaped with minor injuries.