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Lack of technology/equipment to deal with hazards in mine and to carry out rescue operations

  • Rushali Khilrani , Divya Pant , Ananya Sonkar
  • Problems that arise in mining:

    •   Airblast a sudden mass movement of air inside mines which create a massive explosion
    •   Gas explosion particularly due to methane as it is highly explosive
    •  Buildup and explosion of toxic gases, such as methane (CH4), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), and hydrogen sulphide (H2S) in underground mines.
    •    The inhalation in these mines, which is a mixture of dust, carbon dioxide, and nitrogen destroys the body's blood system, which may result in chronic diseases as a consequence of exposure to toxic gases.
    • Wall and roof collapse
    • Inundation, when mining is done in the vicinity of water bodies mines, gets flooded with water 

    Due to the above-mentioned problems massive disaster can occur inside mines which can result in the death of miners, sometimes they can also get trapped and due to the presence of toxic gases inside mines many miners get chronic diseases.

    Now in our country, there are no proper provisions taken to solve these issues because we still lack in technology and resources and due to this ignorance many miners get trapped inside mines and government is unable to save their lives.

  • TARGET AUDIENCE

    Large scale mining is done in Meghalaya and other northeastern parts of India. Meghalaya mine accident happened on 13th December 2018, when 15 miners were trapped inside the mine in Ksan. Our rescue bot aims at ensuring the safety of thousands of miners like the ones in Ksan.

    User Persona

    Miners: No connection with the outside world in case they get trapped in the mine during the disaster. The bot must have the capacity/power to function as long as the mine rescue operation lasts. Providing medicine and mask to the miners after analyzing the data send by the robot to prevent miners from health hazards.

    Manager and safety instructor: lack of technical know-how and not updated with the technologies available in the disaster management sector.No technology to pre-check the condition of miners and mines before sending the rescue team at the time of mine disaster.

    The rescue bot will check the mines at regular intervals and map the 3D image of the mine regularly. Any change in the height of the tunnel or new crevices in the walls could be easily detected using this.Which would further provide protection against roof fall(a common phenomenon that occurs due to excessive mining). leakage Harmful gases like H2s or s02 or leakage of water is also a matter of great concern when working in mines. Our bot would detect the leakage by the means of gas sensors to check whether the mine is safe for humans or not.

    The bot would send a picture of the mine to the service station outside the mine at regular intervals to detect the physical condition of the mine. This would help us to check the condition of the mine without actually going inside the mine.

    Additionally, the bot could also be used to check the condition of dormant mines in order to reopen them later after analysing whether the mine is safe or not.

  • https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1Ullb4DSJIhLGNER7yjneSFrEPfttXXJqDjLY3HX6FOA/edit?usp=sharing

    link to case studies

    https://drive.google.com/open?id=18HtdBWzKHJW5znoCx6eFhf6OTnJkWnxC

    link to video

    Interview:

    A reporter from abc News.com went to Northeast part of our country where a lot of mining practices happen. He took interview of a young miner who works there for living. His name was Pember and he was working in mines from 12, then the reporter asked some question to him that are as follows:

    Reporter: Who do you work with?

    Miner: With my uncle

    He then explained the reporter, the tragedy they faced when the roof got collapsed suddenly. Then they went to the rat hole mine down to 60 yards. There were various tunnels where flooding and tremors are felt every day and was completely dark inside.

    Reporter: When we were crawling in there, how can we come out or there is no other exit?

    Miner: No, there is no other exit.

    Reporter: How many hours do you work inside mines?

    Miner: 5-6 hours a day.

    Reporter: What your father do?

    Miner: My father died two years back due to chronic pulmonary (lung) disease, which made him enter this mining work as he has to support his family.

    From the above interview we felt that had there been something which could indicate how much amount of toxic gases and dust is there inside mines maybe his father could have survived and life of this young miner would have been different.

    In a conference Union Minister Science and Technology Harsh Vardhan said that conditions in mines need to be improved with the help of science and focus should be on dealing with chronic illness related pulmonary functions. Emphasizing that mining is essential for the growth of the country, he said while the industrial production constitutes 24.2 of the GDP, the mining sector comprises 2.8 per cent of industrial production. 

    In-country where mining sector has a significant contribution towards development, still life of miners is neglected as they are not provided with proper technological support, resources and safety measures.

    Since going to a mining site to interview the miners was not possible so we looked for case studies, interviews and videos related to mine disasters and conditions on the internet. We have prepared a presentation consisting of all our research, the link to which has been attached in the beginning.

  • IMAGES: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1QTbYsWB-evFBEQl-x06vMmSNkUCneetBtv6U6bCrpRU/edit?usp=sharing

    Current user journey:

    1.Dust and noxious fumes inhaled by the miners make them vulnerable to pulmonary diseases.No facilities to check the levels of toxic substances present in the mines.

    2.Risk of collapsing of mine roofs .No assessment of mines is done to check when the roof would collapse.This makes the miners vulnerable to hazards caused by collapsing of roof tops.

    3.It is difficult to track the miners when they get trapped inside the mines.It is also very difficult to send food and medicine supplies to the miners for first aid in case of emergency.

    4.Fire in coal mines are a constant threat to miners. One of the reasons for fire is the formation of air/gas pockets inside the mines.Excess accumulation of gases like methane causes fire in certain conditions.

    5.Nearby water resources get contaminated due to crevices in walls. Also, water enters inside the mines due to these crevices. There are no means to identify these crevices in the walls.

     6.No efficient system to check for the abundance of minerals present in the mine. No check available to cut down theft cases in mines.

    New user journey:

    Our rescue robot will be working on two platforms:-

    • Rescue Operation
    • Mines Analysis

    Rescue operation:

    At the time when mine will be struck by disaster then our rescue robot will enter the mine, and through video sharing we will be updated with conditions of miners inside mines.

    • Robot will help the rescue team to search for the trapped miners by sending them the  GPS location.
    •  If the miners cannot be rescued immediately then our robot will be used to send food , medicines, masks and oxygen  supply.
    • Our bot will have the torch with high voltage supply embedded in it and hence will be used to enlighten the dark mines.  

     

    Mine Analysis:

    • Regular analysis of mines will be done by our robot.

           It will keep a regular check on -

    1.  Different gasses present in   mines.
    2.  Water leakage through crevices.
    3.  Analyse the condition of wall and roofs.
    4.  Volumetric analysis and 3 -D mapping of mines.
    5.  Analysis of different minerals present in mines and their abundance
    • Our robot will be monitoring toxic levels of gas and if its level crosses the threshold value of safe limit then the alarming system will activate and miners will be evacuated immediately.
    • The robot will identify the different valuable minerals present in mines and  keep a track on their abundance which will help to cut down the theft cases.
    • The rescue bot will check the mines at regular intervals and map the 3D image of the mine regularly. Any change in the height of the tunnel or new crevices in the walls could be easily detected using this which would further provide protection against roof and wall fall (a common phenomenon that occurs due to excessive mining.)
    •  All the data collected will be sent directly to base station which will help in directing the miners.
    • Our robot could also be used to check the condition of dormant mines in order to reopen them later after analyzing whether the mine is safe or not. The data collected after analysis of dormant mines will be sent to the cloud and can be accessed through app and website.
    • The data will be pictorially represented in the website which will depict the overall condition of mines.

    Mine analysis as well as search operation carried by our bot will surely help to lower down the mine accidents and will prove as a boon for mine industries.

October 20, 2019

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