At least three colliers were killed on Monday due to accumulation of poisonous methane gas inside a coal mine in Balochistan’s provincial capital Quetta.
Speaking to The Express Tribune, Chief Inspector Mines Abdul Ghani said three miners were working inside a pit located in the Sorange area when the unfortunate incident took place.
"All three were unconscious and died inside the mine", Ghani said, adding that methane gas had suddenly accumulated inside the mine and claimed three innocent lives.
The chief inspector mines informed reporters that two out of the three victims were brothers who were identified as Naseebullah and Abdullah. The third victim was Mirza Khan.
Rescuers reached the site upon being informed of the incident, who retrieved the bodies from the pit before shifting them to a nearby basic health unit.
Ghani said a large number of coal miners also reached the spot to support the rescue efforts.
It is pertinent to mention that poor working conditions inside coal mines have claimed scores of precious human lives in Quetta and other parts of Balochistan.
"This is unacceptable. Government must act and act fast," Peer Muhammad Kakar, the irate central leader of the mines workers association, told The Express Tribune.
He demanded that the government hold contractors and mine owners responsible in this regard. "We are tired of protests now," Kakar lamented.
Balochistan Governor Syed Zahoor Ahmed Agha expressed grief and sorrow over the sad demise of the three colliers.
He prayed to Allah Almighty to rest the departed souls in peace and give patience to the bereaved families.
Agha also directed the mines and minerals department to assure safety of coal miners in Balochistan.
In February, four miners were killed and five others were injured after a gas explosion in a coal mine situated in the Zarghun Ghar area near Quetta.
According to Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA), the rescue operation had been completed while the injured, who sustained burn wounds, had been shifted to a nearby hospital.
In 2021, four coal miners died while working at the Chamalang coal mine in Dukki district due to the accumulation of poisonous gas underground.
The coal mine was located in the Anghoor Sheila area of Chamalang. Bodies of the colliers remained trapped inside until the locals were able to extract them.
All the dead labourers hailed from Kakar, Khurasan and Zhob. The mine was shut down and an inquiry opened.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 15th, 2022.
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