Explosions in mines in Pakistan: the death toll has risen

UPDATE 1-Coalmine blast kills 16 in southwest Pakistan -officials

Another seven people died in a separate blast Saturday, which also wounded two people.

The Marwar coalfields are some 60 kilometers east of the Baluchistan capital, Quetta.

"The roof caved in following an explosion triggered by the accumulation of methane gas, killing 16 miners and wounding nine others, two of them seriously", Jawaid Shahwani, commissioner of Quetta Division said.

Attaullah Khan, Pakistan's director of disaster management, on May 5 said a blast caused by a buildup of methane gas in the Marwar coalfields in Balochistan Province led to the collapse of a mine, trapping many workers. Other mine workers who were present in the area immediately rushed to the site and launched a rescue operation.

Two bodies had been recovered and several injured labourers were evacuated on Saturday. The mine owners must not only invest in proper lighting system in mines but also provide their workers proper equipment such as helmets, oxygen masks, safety glasses, gloves and torches attached to their bodies.

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Hours later, another coal mine collapsed in Sooranj area, in which seven miners were killed. Some labourers are reportedly still trapped under rubble of the mine, which collapsed due to a gas explosion.

According to local media, about 25 people were in the mine when the explosion occurred.

Meanwhile, activists of the Pakistan Central Mines Labour Federation (PMCLF) staged a demonstration outside Quetta Press Club on Sunday to protest against the killing of 23 miners in the two mine incidents.

Mines in Pakistan are operated by the semi-autonomous Pakistan Mineral Development Corporation.

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