5 killed, 46 trapped in mine blast
An explosion in a coal mine in Balochistan province of southwest Pakistan today killed five miners and trapped 46 more, officials said.world Updated: Mar 20, 2011 13:46 IST
An explosion in a coal mine in Balochistan province of southwest Pakistan today killed five miners and trapped 46 more, officials said.
The blast in the mine at Sorang, located about 30 km from provincial capital Quetta, was caused by the accumulation of methane gas.
The mine is operated by the state-run Pakistan Mineral Development Corporation.
Officials said the bodies of five miners had been pulled out so far while 46 more were trapped in the shaft.
Twelve unconscious miners were pulled out by rescue workers.
Rescue teams began removing rubble from the mine though efforts were hampered by the lack of machinery, TV news channels reported.
Over 50 workers were in the poorly ventilated mine when the blast occurred.
One entrance to the mine was blocked by debris while the accumulation of gases made it dangerous to go into two other entrances, officials told the media.
Mishaps occur quite frequently in coal mines in Balochistan due to lax safety standards.
Pakistan is estimated to have coal reserves of over 180 billion tonnes.