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8 dead, 4 missing in Pakistan coal mine collapse

13 March 2016 15:55



A coal mine has collapsed in the northwestern part of Pakistan, leaving at least eight miners dead while four others are missing, officials say.

Local administration official, Dost Mohammad, said on Sunday that the mine located in the mountainous Orakzai tribal region caved in the previous evening amid heavy rain in the area.

He added that 29 miners have so far been rescued while the continuing downpour has hampered the search and rescue operations.

There have been conflicting reports over the number of fatalities with Zubair Khan, a senior government official in the district, saying that rescuers have so far found five dead bodies while 26 were rescued alive.

“Apparently torrential rains were the main cause of the collapse but usually the management of such coal mines do not care about safety standards,” he said.

The incident left 10 others injured who have been taken to hospital, Khan said, adding that the search and rescue operations are still underway despite inclement weather.

The Pakistani army, meanwhile, said in a Saturday statement that over 100 troops from the army and paramilitary Frontier Corps were present at the site of the incident to help with the rescue operations and provide medical support.

Heavy raining in other parts of the northwest has led to the collapse of roofs and walls and reportedly taken seven lives over two days.

Pakistani mines usually suffer from poor safety standards and bad ventilation.

In March 2011, a coal mine in the southwestern province of Balochistan collapsed due to several blasts and killed over 40 laborers.

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