19 workers die in Balochistan coalmine blast, 32 still trapped inside mine

March 21st, 2011 - 11:23 am ICT by ANI  

Quetta, Mar 21(ANI): At least 19 mineworkers were killed and 32 others trapped when an explosion rocked a coalmine at Sorenj in Balochistan on Sunday.

Sources, however, said that while bodies of only 19 workers were retrieved from the debris, dozens of mineworkers had perished in the explosion, The News reports.

Chief Inspector Mines Iftikhar Ahmed said that a rescue operation was in progress to recover the 32 others.

Around 52 mineworkers were working in a 6,000-foot-deep tunnel when the blast took place in the mine.

According to preliminary investigation, the cause of the explosion was the accumulation of methane gas, which got ignited by some spark in the mine. The cause of the spark could not be ascertained till the filing of the report.

An on-the-spot inquiry suggested that the incident was caused due to gross negligence, as the provincial mines rescue department had previously ordered to close the mine.

Reports suggested that the blast in the coalmine occurred at 1:30am, while the rescue operation was launched at 7:00am- after several hours of the tragic incident.

The Provincial Mines and Minerals Secretary, Chief Inspector Mines and other senior officials rushed to the site to supervise the rescue operation, but to the dismay of all, ambulances and doctors could not reach the spot even eight hours after the blast.

Meanwhile, Balochistan Chief Minister Nawab Muhammad Aslam Raisani has expressed deep grief over the deaths of mine workers in Sorenj, and directed the concerned authorities to conduct an inquiry into the incident and submit a report to him. (ANI)

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