- Injured have been shifted to hospital for treatment
KOHAT: At least nine labourers were killed and three others injured in Kohat, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) after a coal mine caved in as result of a reported explosion on Wednesday.
Muhammad Ejaz, a senior local police official, said it took almost four hours to retrieve all the bodies from the mine, adding that investigations were ongoing in the incident. The owner of the mine, on the other hand, claimed that the miners died after inhaling the poisonous gas. An official of the local administration, however, said that there was an explosion in the mine that may have caused its roof to collapse.
According to the Kohat Deputy Commissioner Khalid Illyas, the incident occurred at 8 am. He said that “no one is trapped under rubble” following relief activities. “The two injured labourers who were rescued have been shifted to the hospital for medical treatment,” he added.
Coal mining in Akhorwal commenced in 2003 but suffered frequent closures by tribal elders due to differences over the payment of royalties to local tribes. Although the mines reopened briefly in 2006, after falling prey to tribal differences, they only became fully operational in 2013.
CM BUZDAR, BILAWAL EXPRESS GRIEF:
Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar also condoled the loss of lives due to a gas explosion in a coal mine in Kohat. He extended sympathies to heirs of the bereaved families.
Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari expressed severe grief and anger over the death of labourers in the coal mine collapse.
In a media statement, he said that the government should take notice of such incidents in order to avoid loss of lives. He expressed sympathy with families of the victims and demanded the government to announce compensation.
In August, a coal mine in Sanjidi area collapsed, leaving 14 miners dead. The mine collapsed due to an explosion when workers were busy digging deep inside. The bodies of nine workers were pulled out from the collapsed mine on August 13.
Similarly, in May, at least 18 miners died and several were injured after a coal mine collapsed in the Marwar area of Balochistan. In April, at least six miners died of suffocation caused by toxic gas in a Kalat coal mine.
In another incident in April, at least four labourers, including two brothers, were killed while two others were injured when explosions caused collisions in a coal mine in Tilla Jogian, Jhelum.
Earlier this year, six labourers suffocated to death when a coal mine in Kala Khel area, situated on the border of FR Kohat and FR Peshawar, collapsed. The reports suggested that gas produced from the coals filled the mine, leaving the miners trapped.
At least 30,000 miners are associated with the coal mine industry in five districts of the province. However, they face different problems owing to insufficient facilities.