Death toll rises to 23 as two coal mines collapse near Quetta

In one incident, 16 miners were killed after a methane gas explosion caused the roof of the mine to collapse.

The mines are near the southwestern city of Quetta, an area where such accidents are common because of poor enforcement of safety regulations.

Another explosion occurred a few hours later in a Spin Karez mine, about 60 km from Quetta, killing seven workers due to gas inhalation and injuring another two. The explosions were not linked.

Rescue teams are trying to find others still trapped in the rubble. On Sunday, five bodies were recovered when the rescue operation resumed.

Rescue officials said a dozen of the dead miners belonged to Shangla district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

RISING number of deaths in mining accidents in Balochistan highlights the low level of safety in coal mines, many of which are unregistered and out of bound to officials of the Inspectorate of Mines.

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Two bodies had been recovered and several injured labourers were evacuated on Saturday.

Quetta Commissioner Javed Anwar Shahwani confirmed that 16 miners were killed in the Marwar mines.

Balochistan is the largest of Pakistan's four provinces by area but its roughly seven million people have long argued they do not get a fair share of its vast gas and mineral wealth.

The Pakistan Central Mines Labor Federation told the BBC that an average of 200 miners die in mine disasters every year.

Mining in Pakistan is often done in unsafe circumstances.

  • Adam Floyd