QUETTA - 7 Die in Coalmine Blast

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Title: 7 Die in Coalmine Blast Near Quetta

By Saleem Shahid

QUETTA, April 19: Seven workers were killed and five sustained injuries in a coalmine explosion in Degari, some 60 kilometers south of here on Wednesday.

Some 20 miners were at work at the time of the blast and 13 were rescued, five of them in unconscious condition. The dead were identified as Mukarram (38), Fauji (39), Sher Zaneen (30), Shamsul Qadir (28), Iqbal Bahadur (20), Mohammad Ali (48) and Gul Nazar (48).

The explosion occurred in a mine owned by the Kalat Ittehad Coal Company of Balochistan. Chief Mine Inspector Ghulam Sarwar Lodhi, while confirming the death of seven workers, said that five of the miners had been rescued in unconscious condition.

All the victims died of suffocation. The unconscious miners regained consciousness after sometime. "We were able to rescue 13 miners from a 3,000 feet deep mine," Mr Lodhi said when contacted by telephone. The rescuers arrived at the site after over three hours, he said. "Luckily, the explosion was not followed by a fire," otherwise the casualties could have been high, the chief inspector said.

All the miners belong to district Swat, NWFP. Efforts were underway to dispatch the dead bodies to their native towns, sources said. Balochistan Government has ordered an inquiry into the mine disaster.



-- (Dee360Degree@aol.com), April 20, 2000

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