Crater widens along NH 33

Crater widens along NH 33

Underground Inferno

Tough Task: Central Coalfields Limited rescue team trying to put off the underground fire erupting in the middle of the road on NH-33, in Kuju, Ranchi, on Monday. PTI

A team from the Dhanbad-based Central Institute for Mineral fuel Research reached the spot located between Kuju and Loha Gate stretch and started drilling from a distance to examine the nature of the gas emanating from the crater, official sources said.

The district administration’s timely suspension of traffic on Friday after flames leapt about 300 feet averted a major disaster. On Sunday, a portion of the stretch caved in, forcing hundreds of stranded vehicles to take a long detour to reach to their destination.

Jharkhand Governor K Sankaranarayan  shot off a letter to Union minister of state for Coal Sriprakash Jaiswal seeking resettlement of all the 48 families residing in the danger zone.

The letter also mentioned the district administration had on July 16 intimated to Central Coalfields about the worsening situation.

The danger zone, which has been sealed amid deployment of police force, comes under the command area of the CCL.

The Ramgarh district administration had served notices on CCL to take effective steps in evacuating 48 families, who are residing in the vicinity of the crater and resisting attempts for re-settlement.

Senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha, who had accused the CCL and the state administration of failing to prevent the cave-in, visited the spot.