8 bodies recovered from Pak coal mine collapse

Karachi: After over 48 hours, authorities on Tuesday rescued two coal miner and recovered the bodies of eight others who were trapped in a coal mine following an underground fire in Pakistan’s resource-rich Balochistan province.
At least 11 miners were trapped on Sunday more than a kilometre underground after the fire started in the coal mine following an electrical short circuit.
Rescue efforts were hampered by the fire spreading poisonous gas inside the mine near Balochistan’s capital Quetta. Only two miners could be rescued on Tuesday in the search operation, which has now concluded, Director General Provincial Disaster Management Authority Imran Khan Zarkoon was quoted as saying by the Dawn News.
The two have been admitted to Civil Hospital Quetta in critical condition. Another miner was rescued on Monday, he said.
The Minister of Mines and Minerals Development of Balochistan Shafqat Fayyaz, said that the authorities were trying their level best to rescue the miners.
Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Kamal Alyani has directed the Provincial Disaster Management Authority to deploy its technical team and ensure the safe recovery of the workers, provincial government spokesperson Liaquat Shahwani said.
The presence of poisonous gas inside the mine prevented easy access to the mine. Poor working conditions inside coal mines in Balochistan claim the lives of miners on an almost daily basis in Harnai, Sowrange, Dukki, Mach and other parts of the province, but often go unreported, the report said.
Coal mining is considered much more hazardous than hard rock mining due to flat-lying rock strata, generally incompetent rock, leakage or explosion of poisonous gases and coal dust, collapsing of mine stopes or general mechanical errors from improper use and malfunctioning of mining equipment, it added.
According to the Pakistan Central Mines Labour Federation (PCMLF), between 100 and 200 labourers die on an average in coal mine accidents every year in the country. Last year in August at least 15 people were killed in the Sanjdi area of the province after a coal mine caved in.
Following a prolonged rescue operation, the bodies of 13 trapped miners and two volunteers were recovered by authorities. (PTI)

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