Wednesday May 29, 2024

Coalmine tragedy death toll reaches 23

May 07, 2018

QUETTA: The death toll in two coalmine collapses reached 23 on Sunday, according to police and rescue sources. Nine miners were however rescued.

The incident took place near Marwar and Sooranj areas of Quetta district on Saturday. The bodies and the injured were rushed to Bolan Medical Complex (BMC) hospital where the injured are stated to be in better condition by hospital sources.

Nine of the dead were identified as Reheem, Muhammad Basheer, Abdul Waheed, Khalid, Nasrullah, Abdulla Khan, Abdul Haq, Liaqat Ai and Abdul Latif.

Law enforcement agencies (LEAs) including Frontier Corps, Levies force and police are were trying to pull out other victims from the coalmines. Most of victims were reported to be resident of Swat’s Shangla area. The family members of the deceased held a protest demonstration and demanded Rs2 million compensation for each victim.

Sarfaraz Khan adds from Bisham: The villages in the Dheri and Peerabad union councils in Shangla district were plunged into mourning on Sunday as the family members waited for the bodies of their near and dear ones who died when two coalmines collapsed in Balochistan the previous day.

The coalminers in Balochistan, Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and other parts of Pakistan overwhelmingly belong to Shangla district.

Swat, Upper Dir and Lower Dir also have large number of coalmine workers. Any coalmine incident anywhere in the country is bad news for the people in Shangla and the other districts as people know the dead coalminers would invariably be someone from their villages.

Those killed included Liaqat Zada, Abdul Haq, Abdullah, Rahim Bar, Javed, Khalid, Muhammad Bashir, Hazrat Nabi, Abdul Lateef, Fazal Wahid, Gul Nairuz, Delawar, Najeebullah, Faujoon and Jehan Zar.

“We have been waiting for the bodies of our relatives since yesterday,” said an elder of Shalawo village. As many as 15 of the deceased belonged to Shalawo. The deceased included educated people who had to undertake the tough work in the coalmines owing to long periods of unemployment.

“One of the dead, Muhammad Bashir, had left for Balochistan some six months ago to work at the coalmine. He is survived by a widow and four minor kids,” said one of his relatives.

Another deceased, Najeebullah, had just passed his matriculation examination, said Muhammad Iqbal, a teacher. “Najeebullah wanted to continue his education and had gone to Balochistan to earn some money to pay his fees,” he added. The dream of one Faujoon was also shattered as he was engaged to marry after Eidul Fitr.

The deceased also included two brothers, Abdullah and Abdul Haq. “Their father died a few months ago. They were the breadwinners of the household. Now there is no male to look after the family,” said a villager Ibrahim Khan.