A methane-gas explosion in a coal mine in southwest Pakistan early on February 5 killed four workers, while six others were rescued from the partly collapsed mine, officials said.
The head of Provincial Disaster Management Authority in southwestern Balochistan Province, Naseer Ahmad Nasir, told RFERL that miners were digging inside a coal mine in the Sra Ghorgai area, 20 kilometers from Quetta, when the explosion took place.
Chief mine inspector Abdul Ghani said the mine was allegedly being operated illegally. No owner or contractor linked to the mine could be located after the explosion because the rescued workers were in no condition to provide details, he said.
Ghani said the mine was being thoroughly examined to ensure no others were trapped deep in the collapsed mine.
Compromised safety conditions and a lack of proper training for mine workers have resulted in similar incidents in Pakistan's mines.
According to a report by the Pakistan Central Mine Labor Federation, 237 coal miners were killed in mine explosions in 2021. Most of the incidents took place in mineral-rich Balochistan Province.
Since the start of the year, 21 coal miners have been killed in Pakistani mine incidents, the report said.