Death toll reaches 24 in Quetta coalmine explosions

Two laborers killed in coalmine collapse in Balochistan

QUETTA: At the end of the rescue operation after the explosions in two coal mines in Marwaah, the suburban area of Quetta, death toll has reached 25 while nine have been injured in two incidents. All dead belonged to the same village in Shangla.
One of the accidents occurred in Marwaarh, 45 kilometres (28 miles) east of Quetta, from where 16 deaths have so far been reported. The second accident happened 30 kilometres from Quetta near PMDC, in which seven miners have died.
The bodies were fished out of the Marwaarh coal mine after nine hours. Twelve miners were unconscious. Rescue staff took them to Civil Hospital, Quetta.
Doctors said the miners brought to them were suffering from breathing problems.
According to one of the miners, the explosion took place at 10:30am while rescue teams reached them by 3:30pm. “If there were any safety measures in place, our people wouldn’t be at hospitals,” he said.
Another miner said there was no air in the mines. “Our bosses just want coal from us,” he said.
“The roof caved in following an explosion triggered by the accumulation of methane gas, killing 16 miners and wounding nine others, two of them seriously”, Jawaid Shahwani, the top government official in Quetta, told foreign news agency about the collapse in Marwaarh.
Shahwani said 25 workers were inside the mine when the explosion occurred, adding that all the injured miners had been rescued and taken to hospital. “We are trying our best to recover bodies but it will take time as most of the bodies are buried very deep”, he said.
Pakistani mines are notorious for poor safety standards and bad ventilation. At least 43 workers were killed in March 2011 when explosions triggered a collapse in a coal mine in Balochistan, which has battled separatist insurgents and Islamist militants for more than a decade.


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