15 January 2020
Angul: A 40-feet deep sinkhole was formed after earth caved in at a farmland in Deulbera village under Colliery police station limits here today. Panic spread among locals who were the first to notice the crater around five feet in diameter.
They informed the local Mahanadi Coalfield Limited (MCL) officials who rushed to the spot to take stock of the situation.
The landowner, Akshaya Kumar Sahu and others alleged that MCL has neglected sand-filling job in the Deulbera underground mine located nearby which has resulted in the crater.
Police, local administration and MCL authorities are present on the spot which has been secured. The villagers have expressed grave concerns as the entire area is densely populated.
Deulbera and Champapasi are twin underground coal mines which have been shut from the past few years. In the recent past, similar incidents have been reported from the coal mining belt of Talcher.
Angul SP Jagmohan Meena said, "The MCL authorities have been asked to initiate appropriate steps for sand filling on priority. To ensure safety of people, we have barricaded the sinkhole and deployed police to check movement of the public," Meena said.
On the other hand, the MCL authorities have said that sand filling is being done at regular intervals from the surface of the earth. "However, since some areas are residential, it is difficult to charge the mine with the slurry from the top," an MCL official said on conditions of anonymity.