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Balochistan Mining Tragedy: 11 Dead, Many More at Risk

Published | June 03,2024

By | Imtiaz Baloch

Balochistan Mining Tragedy: 11 Dead, Many More at Riskimage

A devastating gas leak in a coal mine in Sanjadi, on the outskirts of Quetta, Balochistan has claimed the lives of at least 11 miners on Monday. 

According to Shahid Rind spokesperson for the Balochistan government, the victims included 9 workers, a contractor, and a mine manager who were trapped deep in the mine when the incident occurred.

Abdul Ghani Baloch, chief mines inspector of the province, confirmed the incident and said that the miners were hailing from Swat district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. He, while talking to The Khorasan Diary, attributed the incident to a gas leak that filled the tunnels, making their escape difficult.

This incident is the latest in a series of tragic events in Balochistan's coal mining areas, with at least 35 coal miners losing their lives in the past six months, including 17 in two separate incidents in March. 

The province has also seen a surge in armed attacks by Baloch militant groups targeting coal miners and security personnel, with local security officials stating that these attacks are aimed at extorting the local coal contractors.

Statement of BLA, claiming responsibility for attacking a coal mine in Duki district in May.

To ensure the security of coal mines and miners, the provincial government has launched a local tribal militia. The government has vowed to take action against those responsible for the lack of safety and precautionary measures, with an investigation into the incident currently underway.

Tribal elders in Duki, a major coal mining region in the province, have vowed to form a militia to protect their communities from Baloch militant attacks.

The absence of proper safety and security measures in Balochistan's coal mining areas is a critical factor contributing to the repeated occurrence of such tragic incidents.