23 killed as coal mines collapse in Pak

Death toll from coal mine accidents climbs to 23

Three hours later, a similar explosion ripped through a mine about 25 kilometres (16 miles) away, killing seven people and wounding two others.

The Marwar and Surrang coalfields lie east of Baluchistan's capital Quetta.

The death toll from the coal mine blast and landslides in southwest Pakistan climbed to 23 on May 6, officials said, after ending their rescue operation.

Emergency services were able to rescue nine others, who were brought to nearby hospitals.

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Twenty-three miners were killed Saturday when two coal mine collapsed near Quetta, chief mines inspector told Geo News.

At least 16 miners died on Saturday and more than a dozen were trapped after an explosion in a mine in the Marwar coalfields in Baluchistan province.

"We have recovered all the 16 bodies from the rubble caused by the collapse in the coal mine", Mr. Atique said. But when rescue workers went deep inside the mine on Sunday, they found the five miners had also died.

The Pakistan Central Mines Labour Federation says that up to 200 mine workers die on average in mine accidents every year.

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There were 30 labourers inside the mine when the explosion occurred.

Pakistani mines are notorious for poor safety standards and bad ventilation. At least 15 more miners were injured in the two incidents.

"The collapse apparently took place because of a gas explosion and the miners working at that time were trapped inside".

Pakistan's Mineral Development Corporation leases many of them to private contractors.

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