Any hope for 372 miners trapped in the flopped Chasnala coal mine since Saturday (27 December) has been abandoned, and an international pumping operation is only for searching for bodies.
GV ZOOM OUT Coal mine
SV Rescue workers coming out of mine
SV Rescue workers (4 shots)
SV Rescue workers (2 shots)
SV Police keeping onlookers away
CU & SV People looking at list of casualties (2 shots)
SV Woman crying
Initials CL/0112 CL/0125
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Background: Any hope for 372 miners trapped in the flopped Chasnala coal mine since Saturday (27 December) has been abandoned, and an international pumping operation is only for searching for bodies.
India's Coal Mining Secretary, Mr. Srinivasa Chari said there was no hope of survival for the hundreds of men trapped by the millions of gallons of water that rushed into the two mine shafts.
"There's no point in talking about survivors," he said.
The flooding of the Chasnala coal mine is the worst mining disaster in India's history.
Cause of the disaster is still uncertain. About 110 million gallons of water from disused workings overhead flooded into two mine shafts.
Some mining experts say a methane gas blast could have triggered a much larger coal gas explosion.
There was about 80 feet of rock between the old mine, which was closed in 1945, and the workings.
The wife of one of the trapped miners, who set herself alight in the miners quarters on Saturday, died two days later.
Indian newspapers expressed reservations about safety standards in the country's mines.
Five water pumps had started to drain the millions of gallons of water from the mine, and another six high-speed pumps were being flown from the United States.
SYNOPSIS: Hopes of finding any survivors from the Chasnala coal mine disaster have been abandoned. India's Coal Mining Secretary, Mister Srinivasa Chari said an international pumping operation being carried out was virtually a "search for bodies."
About one hundred and ten million galloons of water from disused workings overhead flooded into the workings at Chasnala, in the eastern Bihar province. Three hundred and seventy two miners were working in the shafts when explosions tore out eighty feet of rock between the workings and the abandoned mine.
Cause of the disaster is still not certain. Some mining experts believe a methane gas blast could have triggered off a much bigger coal gas explosion to tear out the massive rock face. The real cause won't be known until the millions of gallons of water, one thousand feet deep, are pumped out. It was the worst mining disaster in India's history.
Five pumps have started to drain the millions of gallons of water from the mine. Another six pumps, with twice the capacity of the ones in operation, are being flown in from the United States. Over the past few days, newspapers in India have been critical of mine safety in the country.