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Tragedy Strikes: 12 Dead in Harnai Coal Mine Collapse, 8 Miraculously Rescued

Coal Mine

Twelve miners tragically lost their lives, while eight were fortunate enough to be rescued following a devastating explosion in a coal mine located in the Zardalo area of Balochistan’s Harnai district, as officials reported on Wednesday.

Initially, reports suggested that 18 miners were trapped underground after a significant portion of the mine collapsed due to a powerful explosion. The chief inspector of mines confirmed that a rescue operation was swiftly initiated.

Balochistan chief inspector of mines, Abdul Ghani Baloch, declared the conclusion of the rescue operation on Wednesday morning. He revealed that a total of 20 miners were inside the mine when a methane gas explosion occurred overnight. While rescue teams successfully retrieved 12 bodies, the survivors were promptly transported to the hospital for medical attention.

However, conflicting reports emerged regarding the number of rescued miners, with Balochistan Chief Minister Sarfraz Bugti stating on a social media platform that only six miners were rescued. Abdullah Shahwani, the province’s director general of mining, corroborated the death toll.

Initially believed to involve only ten miners, the cave-in occurred approximately 80 kilometers east of Quetta. Rescue efforts by government mining departments and disaster management agencies continued throughout the night.

An additional group of eight individuals, who attempted to rescue their trapped colleagues, also found themselves in danger but were eventually rescued by a government team, albeit some of them unconscious.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif conveyed his deep condolences over the loss of lives and directed the provision of all necessary medical treatment to the injured miners.

Chief Minister Bugti emphasized the perilous nature of the rescue operation and acknowledged the prevalent issue of unregulated mining in Balochistan, promising imminent policy implementations to safeguard miners.

National Assembly Speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq and Deputy Speaker Syed Ghulam Mustafa Shah expressed profound grief over the incident, extending their condolences to the affected families and praying for the swift recovery of the injured.

Tragically, such incidents are not uncommon in Pakistan, particularly in the western regions near the Afghan border, where coal deposits are abundant. The frequency of mine accidents is often attributed to gas build-ups, inadequate safety measures, and poor working conditions, as highlighted by labour union officials.

Lala Sultan, head of the Balochistan Coal Mines Workers Federation, emphasized the chronic neglect of safety measures in Balochistan mines, contrasting them with other provinces where safety protocols are relatively better enforced.

This recent incident adds to a series of previous tragedies, including fires, cave-ins, and gas explosions, underscoring the urgent need for comprehensive safety reforms in Pakistan’s mining sector. Such reforms are vital to prevent further loss of precious lives and ensure the well-being of miners across the country.

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I am a dynamic professional, specializing in Peace and Conflict Studies, Conflict Management and Resolution, and International Relations. My expertise is particularly focused on South Asian Conflicts and the intricacies of the Indian Ocean and Asia Pacific Politics. With my skills as a Content Writer, I serve as a bridge between academia and the public, translating complex global issues into accessible narratives. My passion for fostering understanding and cooperation on the national and international stage drives me to make meaningful contributions to peace and global discourse.

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