QUETTA: At least four miners were killed while five were rescued in unconscious state after a coal mine in Sanjdi area of Quetta caved in due to a gas explosion during the wee hours of Sunday.
According to details, nine miners were working inside Lease Number 07 of United Coal Company when an explosion due to the buildup of fatal methane gas forced the mine to collapse.
Rescue workers and district administration officials rushed to the spot and carried out an operation to save the miners trapped inside.
“At least four miners were killed due to the explosion as they were stuck deep inside the mine, while five others working some distance from the entrance were rescued in unconscious state,” officials added.
The bodies and the unconscious miners were rushed to the Bolan Medical Complex and Civil Hospital, Quetta.
Doctors stated that the unconscious miners were out of danger.
The deceased were identified as Muhammad Ramzan, Yar Muhammad Khan, Badshah and Ghulam Muhammad. Three of them hailed from Shangla while one was from Masunt, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.
Coal mine experts say methane explosions occur in mines when a buildup of methane gas, a byproduct of coal, comes into contact with a heat source and there is not enough air to dilute the gas to levels below its explosion point.
They suggested setting up underground ventilation in mines to avoid any such incidents in the future.
Last month, at least 23 colliers were killed after two mines in Marwar and Surr Range caved in due to methane gas explosions. The incidents sparked anger among the coal miners’ community while the Chief Justice of Pakistan also took a suo motu notice of the incidents.
On May 10, the Provincial Mining and Mineral Development Department formed a four-member committee to investigate Marwar and Surr Range coal mine tragedies.
The committee, led by Mining Development Director General Muhammad Imran Zarkoon and comprising Chief Mine Inspector Iftikhar Ahmed, Geo-Data Quetta Project Director Jamil Kehtran and Mining Exploration Director Abdullah Shahwani, was tasked to fix responsibility over negligence towards safety of workers.