Death toll rises after Pakistan mine explosions

Death toll from coal mine accidents climbs to 23

A government official says a methane gas explosion in a coal mine has killed at least six miners in southwest Pakistan.

Seven other labourers perished in another incident caused by a mudslide in a mine in the Surrange area, some 60 kilometres east of Quetta. Chief inspector of mines Iftikhar Ahmad said the rescue operation overnight pulled out 11 injured miners.

Hours later, another coal mine collapsed in Sooranj area, in which seven miners were killed. On Saturday night, two unconscious workers were rescued and bodies of two miners were recovered.

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About 16 mine workers of dead bodies were pulled out from the coalmine after collapsing mine roof in gas explosion by local rescue teams including law enforcement agencies after hectic efforts under monitoring of provincial officials.

Now rescue is trying to find other people who could be under the rubble. "The owners and managers of mining companies don't care for poor workers because for them money is more important than our lives", Akhtarzada, a survivor of the Marwar incident, said.

"The collapse apparently took place because of a gas explosion and the miners working at that time were trapped inside".

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

There were 30 labourers inside the mine when the explosion occurred.

Mines in Pakistan are operated by the semi-autonomous Pakistan Mineral Development Corporation.

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