Chandrapur: A major fire broke out at Sinhala Mines in Western Coalfields Ltd (WCL) here on Saturday morning and around 70 miners trapped inside were rescued by firefighters, a senior official said.
"The fire broke out at the 14th level of the 5th rise in Sinhala coal mine this morning when the miners were on duty," Chief General Manager of WCL Chandrapur area, R K Mishra, said.
Fire tenders from WCL were pressed into service to douse the flames and the firefighters successfully pulled out over 70 miners to safety, he said.
"Even as the firefighters were trying to lay the water-hoses inside the mine, the mega exhaust-fan, installed for the purpose went off due to power failure. As a result, the fume and gas generated inside the mine could not be sucked and the workers trapped inside the mine suffered suffocation.
"However, our firefighters displayed extraordinary courage and were successful in bringing out all the miners trapped inside," Mishra said.
He further said officials from the Directorate General of Mines Safety also visited the spot to take stock of the situation and a temporary closure of Sinhala mines was ordered.
All the affected workers have been shifted to nearby hospitals and their condition is stated to be stable.