The death toll from Saturday's coal mine blast and landslides in southwest Pakistan climbed to 23 on Sunday, officials said, after ending their rescue operation.
At least 16 miners died on Saturday and more than a dozen were trapped after an explosion in a mine in the Marwar coalfields in Baluchistan province, Director of Disaster Management Attaullah Khan said.
A methane gas build-up inside the mine caused the blast, Khan said. Chief inspector of mines Iftikhar Ahmad said the rescue operation overnight pulled out 11 injured miners.
He said two labourers died in a landslide on Saturday in another mine in Surrang coalfields. It was not immediately clear if that was caused by the explosion.
"Rescuers retrieved five more bodies from this mine," he said.
Another official, Mohammad Atif, said authorities had opened an investigation after sealing both mines.
Accidents are frequent in the province's mines, where safety measures are basic and many of the workforce come from other parts of Pakistan.
The mines are mostly owned by state-run Pakistan Mineral Development Corporation, which leases many of them to private contractors.
The country has huge coal reserves estimated at more than 184 billion tonnes. It produces 4 million tonnes of coal annually, most of which is consumed by brick-making kilns.
The Marwar and Surrang coalfields lie east of Baluchistan's capital Quetta.
LEAVE A COMMENT Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*
Time: Imran is among ‘100 most influential people’
Prime minister rings major cabinet rejig
Massive floods caused by untimely rain kill at least 50 in Pakistan
Peshawar battle brings down 3-storey building
Quetta market attack leaves 20 dead, 48 injured
Media, diplomats taken to Indian air strike site
PM says anti-militant push vital for stability
Imran says peace likelier if Modi wins Indian polls
Pakistan has intelligence of new attack: Qureshi