Death toll in Quetta mine blast reaches 13

Two more succumb to injuries at hospital

Dr Aftab Hussain June 05, 2024
UMC coal mine explosion in Quetta: PHOTO:NDTV


The death toll in the coal mine blast in Quetta has reached 13 as two more injured succumbed to their injuries at the hospital on Tuesday. 

Of the 13 dead, four belong to Miandam in Swat while the rest are all from the same village in the mountainous Shangla area.

A man, his teenage son and two other youth are also among the victims.

The dead bodies reached Shangla on Tuesday, causing widespread grief despite the fact that local residents have become used to burying their loved ones who perish in fatal coal mine accidents in Sindh, Balochistan and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.

The latest fatalities, Rehman Zeib and Hidayatullah, succumbed to their injuries at a Quetta hospital after battling for their lives for nearly 24 hours.

The incident took place on Monday afternoon due to a gas explosion at the UMC coal mine which is located three kilometres from Quetta, the main city in Balochistan.

Initially, 11 colliers had lost their lives of which four belonged to the Miandam area of Swat and seven hailed from Banda Pirabad in the Mian Kaly village of Shangla district.

Two of the deceased, Bakht Afsar and his son Shakirullah, had left for Balochistan only a few months ago.

The other deceased included Javed, son of Fazl Muhammad, Umar Muhammad, son of Maab, John Zar, son of Mohibuke, Umar Hasan, son of Farid Khan, and John Badshah, son of Mohib Gul.

It may be mentioned here that such incidents have become a virtual norm for the residents of poverty-stricken Shangla. A shortage of employment opportunities in the region forces people to seek jobs as miners which, although financially rewarding, are extremely dangerous due to the absence of safety gear.

According to a survey, more than 65 percent of the people in Shangla are connected with the coal mining sector. 

Elected representatives from the district only issue strong condemnation and condolence statements and forget the pain and sorrow of the victims while those that are disabled in such accidents, who number in the hundreds, are often left to starve.

There is no school or hospital for miners’ children nor are there alternative business arrangements for them. 

But, despite such fatal accidents and their ensuing trauma, people still send their children to work in mines due to the lack of employment options available to them.



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