PESHAWAR: Five miners died in two different coal mine incidents in Darra Adam Khail, a previously frontier region in Peshawar and district Nowshera.
According to details, miners were busy extracting coal from a mine in Zarghun Khail area of Darra Adam Khal when a gas explosion occurred inside the mine. Although there is a ventilation system in mines, sometimes the mines are filled with methane and when methane comes into contact with heat during coal extraction, typically caused by the sparks that are released during the mining, it causes an explosion.
Locals were informed that the workers were still inside the mine when the explosion occurred adding that they along with the miners working in other mines rushed to the spot and began the rescue mission. They later informed that only dead bodies were recovered.
In a similar incident, two miners died after a coal mine caved in within the jurisdiction of the Police Station Pabbi. According to SHO Pabbi Muhammad Hanif, the incident took place in Jabba Khush area of the district. Miners from both the incidents are from district Shangla.
On September 12, nine miners were killed and three injured when the roof of a coalmine in Darra Adam Khel town of Kohat, some 45 kilometres off Peshawar, collapsed. Coalmine owner Ishaq Ahmad claimed that the deaths occurred due to the inhaling of poisonous gas.
However, a member of the local administration said there was an explosion in the mine that might have caused its roof to cave in.
According to local tradition, legal heirs of every individual who dies while mining is paid Rs0.5 million as compensation and all the expanses in case of any injuries are paid by the mine owner.
Coal mining is considered much more hazardous than hard rock mining due to flat-lying rock strata; leakage or explosion of poisonous gases and coal dust; mine collapse; and general mechanical errors due to improper use and malfunctioning of mining equipment.
According to the Pakistan Central Mines Labour Federation, 100 to 200 labourers die on average in coal mine accidents every year.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 14th, 2018.