DMT to fight coal mine fires in India

GERMAN engineering and consulting company DMT has won a contract to fight coal mine fires in India’s West Bengal region.

Angie Tomlinson

DMT will team up with local partner Sri Avantika Construction to fight the blazes at Coal India’s mines, with an initial team of experts to touch down this month.

“The conflagrations are often ignited by spontaneous combustion when atmospheric oxygen comes into contact with the coal. And it is by no means rare that the mining districts affected experience dangerous sinkholes and subsidence as a result of these fires,” DMT project manager Hartwig Gielisch said.

“What’s more, the pollution levels are often particularly high in these densely populated areas.”

In the first phase of the project DMT and Sri Avantika Construction will locate underground fires using geothermal and geophysical measurement techniques.

DMT said the resulting data would allow them to “expertly fight these fires and to monitor the progress of the work”.

The procedure has already been used by DMT to successfully combat several coal mine fires in China in recent years.

“We are quite confident that here, too, we will be able to quickly locate and quench the fires,” Gielisch said, “and we are expecting that this success will trigger further contracts from the region.”

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