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Coal mine gas leak kills six in Pakistan

15 March 2023

A gas leak in a coal mine killed six people in Pakistan’s Balochistan region on March 3. Five people were also injured and required hospitalisation after attempting to rescue trapped workers.

Representative image: Shutterstock
Representative image: Shutterstock

Workers were reportedly trapped hundreds of metres underground when the gas leak occurred. Rescue workers said 11 people were trapped after a mine shaft filled with poisonous gas. The condition of the mine and lack of safety equipment made rescue efforts difficult and only five workers were rescued.

Pakistan, and particularly the Balochistan region, has a long history of safety incidents in mines. While the area is rich in natural resources, there is little regard for safety and many miens operate without supervision. Several local news agencies have said that many of the mines owners have close links to the government and local authorities, meaning that little changes when an incident happens.

Government figures show that hundreds of coal miners die every year in Pakistan with a similar number suffering injuries.

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