Thousands of tonnes of coal gutted in fire

May 20th, 2008 - 2:49 pm ICT by admin  

Ranchi, May 20 (IANS) Thousands of tonnes of coal kept in the stocks of the Central Coalfield Limited (CCL) in Jharkhand’s Chatra district has been gutted in a fire that has been simmering for the last fortnight. Officials said the fire started in the coal stock in CCL’s Piparwar colliery, about 190 km from here, about a fortnight ago and still continues.

CCL sources said the stock has more than four million tonnes of coal.

Labourers at the colliery held the CCL management responsible.

“The CCL management overlooked the fire threat. Smoke had been coming from the coal stock. Due to rising heat, the coal caught fire,” said Gautam Mahto, a labourer.

The CCL management is trying to extinguish the fire but the ongoing heat wave is making the task difficult.

“We cannot give the exact figure of the loss of coal. Unless the fire is extinguished we cannot assess the loss,” said an official, estimating that thousands of tonnes might have been gutted.

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