Pakistan coal mine blast: Death toll surges to 15

Karachi: The bodies of seven persons, including two rescue workers, were recovered from the coal mine explosion in Pakistan’s Balochistan province taking the toll to 15, officials said today.

The authorities said that the bodies of all the 13 miners and two rescue workers were recovered last night.

He said they did not expect any other casualties as the work to clear the mine was now complete.

“We have recovered 15 bodies since the rescue operation started Sunday, including five more bodies which were taken out yesterday,” Chief Inspector of Mines, Ifthikar Ahmed said.

The Thirteen labourers were working in the 400-foot-deep mine in Sanjadi area, about 50 kilometres east of the provincial capital Quetta, when they got trapped and later killed after a methane gas explosion caused the coal mine to cave in on Sunday.

All the 13 miners were trapped under the rubble when volunteers launched rescue work. While the bodies of eight miners were recovered on Sunday itself, the remaining five miners and two of the rescue workers were recovered yesterday.

The rescue workers had died due to the accumulation of poisonous methane gas inside the mine.

Mine explosions accidents are common in Pakistan. In June a mine explosion in the Sanjdi area claimed the life of four miners.

Similarly, in May two mine explosions in Pir Ismail and Marwah areas near Quetta killed 23 workers and injured dozens.