Death toll from Pakistan mining explosions climbs to 23


In another incident in Marwar area near Quetta, at least 16 miners were killed and nine others injured after the mine caved in following an explosion caused by the accumulation of the methane gas, the official said.

A total of 43 workers died in 2011 when gas explosions triggered a collapse in another Balochistan colliery, also owned by the Pakistan Mineral Development Corporation. All the victims were hospitalized.

Deputy Commissioner Quetta Dr Farrukh Atique and other officials from the provincial disaster management authority reached the site of the incident and supervised rescue efforts.

Provincial mines minister Saleh Baloch told AFP that all miners in both accidents had been accounted for and rescue operations had ended.

Personnel of Frontier Corps, Levies and Quick Response Force were also on the spot to recover the trapped miners.

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Initial reports suggested more than a dozen miners were trapped when a gas explosion led to the mine's collapse.

"The collapse apparently took place because of a gas explosion and the miners working at that time were trapped inside".

Most of the miners came from the same village in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa's Shangla district. Due to hard terrain, rescue efforts were hampered.

Accidents are frequent in the province's mines, where safety measures are basic and much of whose workforce is drawn from labourers from other parts of Pakistan.

Around three hours later, a mine 25 kilometres (16 miles) to the west at Spin Carez collapsed in similar circumstances, killing seven of the nine miners inside. Seven people died and two were wounded. Supreme Court (SC) issued notices to Balochistan chief secretary and Inspector General of Police (IGP) and will hear the case at Quetta Registry on May 11.

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