- Seven more people are still missing and the search and rescue operations are continuing.
- Pakistan has over the years experienced tragic incidents in its mines. The accidents are attributed to poor and unsafe working conditions.
- Most of those who died are said to be workers and a few other people who had gathered at the foothill.
The death toll from the marble mine collapse in Pakistan’s Ziarat Ghar Mountain has risen to 26. This is after four more people succumbed to their injuries. On Wednesday, the authorities had stated that 22 people had died from the accident. It is alleged that six units of the mine collapsed, killing 12 workers instantly.
The death toll rose after 10 more workers succumbed to their injuries. The entrance to the mine was blocked, trapping the workers for hours. Most of those who died are said to be workers and a few other people who had gathered at the foothill. It is believed that around 45 workers were at the site at the time of the tragic incident on Monday night.
Seven more people are still missing, and the search and rescue operations are continuing. Heavy machinery was deployed to the scene to aid in the rescue operation, and five ambulances were also dispatched to the area.
The accident took place in Mohmand district, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, near the country’s border with Pakistan. The cause of the accident remains unclear, but it is alleged that explosives used to extract the marble could have caused the collapse.
Pakistan has, over the years, experienced tragic incidents in its mines. The accidents are attributed to poor and unsafe working conditions. Safety regulations are often flouted, further worsening the situation. The rescue missions always begin late and since there are no hospitals around the mines most lives are lost while medical attention is sought from distant areas.
Most of the workers who work at the mines are poor, and are often exploited. It is alleged that at times, the workers are paid in advance, a situation that keeps them in debt bondage. The workers are usually employed through labor contractors and are never offered contract, a state that complicates matters, especially during tragedies.
Neither the workers nor their families receive compensation. Despite all this challenge, the government has not done much to address them. It has been widely criticized, together with the mines managements.
According to the country’s data, at least 414 workers were killed as they toiled for their families between the years 2010 to 2018, in about 93 accidents. In March this year, at least seven people were killed after an accident in a coal mine in Balochistan, after they were trapped into it.
At least 27 people were killed in the country’s mine accidents. In May 2018, 23 people were killed in a twin mine accidents. Sixteen miners were killed after a mine caved in Marwaarh, in the city of Quetta, in Balochistan, following a methane gas explosion, while seven others were killed after a landslide at another nearby mine.
Around 15 other miners were injured in both incidents. At least 10 people were killed in Al Hussaini coal mine, in Orkazai region in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. In 2011, an explosion at a mine in Balochistan claiming more than 40 lives. Balochistan is a province rich in minerals which include coal, gold and copper.