Sunday, 4 January 2015

Explosives trigger mine collapse in Mohmand; 10 dead

At least 10 people were killed on Saturday when a marble mine collapsed in the Safi tehsil of Mohmand Agency. Officials expect the death toll could rise.

Local miner Mir Wais Khan said the incident took place at Jalat Haji marble mine at Khanqah Ziarat mountain in Safi at 3pm. “Around 15 people – 11 miners, two truckers and their two helpers – were at the site when the mine caved in,” he told The Express Tribune by phone.

After the incident, other miners rushed to the site, called heavy machinery from other mines and started a rescue operation. “Four bodies, including that of a trucker, have been pulled out from underneath the huge boulders,” he said, adding that a seriously injured miner was also recovered and shifted to hospital where he is said to be in a critical condition. “There are slim chances of finding more survivors,” he added.

A political administration official, Miraj Khan, confirmed 10 fatalities. “Troops from the Khasadar force and Frontier Corps are also helping with the rescue operation which is ongoing,” he added.

Senator Hilal Rehman claimed that the mine collapsed as the miners used explosives to excavate marble from the mine. “The government should provide the mines with heavy machinery and build a social security hospital at the site as the Fata secretariat and political administration receive billions of rupees annually in taxes from these mines,” he said.

Mine management in Pakistan lacks preventive and protective measures, as a result the number of fatal accidents is high.

Workers endure harsh conditions in makeshift mud shacks or in villages devoid of basic facilities.

Accidents are not recorded in the registry as required by law, and often go unchecked. Mine workers in Pakistan get a pittance for work considered one of the highest-risk activities in the world in terms of safety and health.

Sunday 4 January 2014


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