§ 1. Mr. THORNE
asked the Under-Secretary of State for India whether he can give the House any information with regard to the colliery disaster at the Joktiabad pit, Giridih (Bihar); the number of men and women killed and injured; the number of women killed 2982 underground; and the date of the last explosion in this area?
§ The UNDER-SECRETARY of STATE for INDIA (Mr. Butler)
The Government of India reported on 25th July that an accident, presumed to be due to an explosion of liquid oxygen extended by coal dust, occurred at the Kurhurbari (or Joktiabad) Colliery of the East Indian Railway at Giridih on Wednesday, 24th July. Fifty-three persons, of whom two were women, were killed and 50 were reported injured, of whom the number of women is not specified. It is presumed that these were all working underground. All workmen, including injured, were brought to the surface. The Inspector of Mines is holding an inquiry, and, pending his report, I have nothing to add to the accounts which appeared in the Press. I have not heard of any other recent accident in the Giridih area.
§ Mr. THORNE
Do we understand that there is still a very large number of women in coal mines in India?
§ Mr. BUTLER
I am glad to be able to tell the hon. Member that it is hoped within the next year or two to stop all female labour underground.