Coal mine blast kills eight, traps 40 in Pakistan

Coal mine blast kills eight, traps 40 in Pakistan

Coal mine accident in Quetta, Pakistan March 20, 2011. It killed 45 miners, most of them suffocated from inhaling methane gas.

At least eight miners have been killed and 40 others trapped underground after methane gas explosion triggered a collapse in a coal mine in Pakistan, officials said.

According to the World Bulletin, the accident took place in Loralai district’s Dukki town, located about 145 kilometres off the provincial capital of Quetta.

Rasheed Abro, a senior coal mine inspector, said the victims had died from suffocation.

"A poisonous gas penetrated inside the coal mine causing the death of seven miners," Pakistan’s English-language newspaper Dawn quoted Abro as saying.

Dukki and the surrounding areas of Baluchistan are rich in coal, but safety doesn't seem to be a priority. Mine owners often compromise protective measures, and the number of deadly accidents is relatively high.

In early January, at least 12 workers were killed in a marble mine collapse in Pakistan’s troubled northwestern tribal region, near the border with Afghanistan.

Another six miners died in a similar accident in northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province’s Hangu district in December.