Wednesday July 06, 2022

Nine miners perish in Darra Adamkhel mine blast

September 13, 2018

KOHAT/BISHAM: Nine coal miners perished and another four sustained burn injuries in a horrific blast caused by the accumulation of gas inside a coal mine in Akhorwal area of the Darra Adamkhel. It was learnt that the mine was being run illegally without a license and was the site of a recent explosion that had killed three miners.

The rescuers made hectic efforts along with the coal miners and the local people to pull out the four injured trapped deep inside the mine and were taken to a hospital in Darra Adamkhel. Later the injured were sent to the Lady Reading Hospital in Peshawar.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, a coal miner who was worked in the same mine, said three miners were killed in the mine in a recent blast but tragically it did not stir the administration and the Mines Department to any preemptive action.

He complained that the mines lack basic safety features turning them into "death traps" and the miners are forced to work under most unfavourable conditions. He said the mines were thousands of feet deep where the chances of survival are very low in case of any eventuality.

Talking to The News, Director Fata Mines Department, Sadat Khan, conceded that the mine contractor had not obtained a licence from his department and it was being run illegally. The Deputy Commissioner, Khalid Ilyas, said the coal mines are not regularly inspected by the Fata Mines Department that led to the tragic incident. He said it is the responsibility of the department to ensure that safety measures are in place. He said there are around 300 coal mines in Darra Adamkhel and the Mines Department could cancel licenses of those operating without adequate safety features. The funeral prayer for the nine coal miners was offered at Darra Adamkhel before dispatching their bodies to the remote Shangla district. The dead coal miners were identified as Zameen Gul, Qadeem Gul, Khalilur Rehman, Farman Ali, Nazar Ahmad, Wazirzada, Hazrat Wali, Umar Hassan.The dead also included two brothers Zameen Gul and Qadeem Gul.

Meanwhile, gloom prevailed in the impoverish Shangla when the bodies were brought to Pirabad. A large number of people thronged to the houses of the victims to offer condolences. The mountainous Shangla is an under-developed district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa where employment opportunities are scarce. Many men from Shangla work in most terrible conditions at the coal mines in various parts of the country to eke out a living. The Assistant Commissioner Abbas Afridi ordered an inquiry into the incident to fix responsibility and determine the causes behind the explosion.