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Friday, September 18, 2020

Pakistan marble mine collapse kills 22; dozens battling for life

Majority of the deceased include labourers and few others who had gathered at the foothill in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa's Safi town near the Afghanistan border, about 85 km from provincial capital Peshawar.

By: PTI | Islamabad | September 9, 2020 10:05:08 am
Rescue workers stand beside a wreckage of a damaged truck as they search for survivors after a collapse at a marble quarry in Ziarat area of Mohmand, Pakistan (Reuters)

At least 22 people have been killed and dozens were battling for their lives after six units of the famed marble mines in Pakistan’s Ziarat Ghar mountain collapsed, causing large boulders to fall on them, according to media reports on Tuesday.

The mines collapsed on Monday night, instantly killing 12 miners, the Geo News reported. The death toll rose after 10 more succumbed to injuries at the District Mohmand Hospital.

Majority of the deceased include labourers and few others who had gathered at the foothill in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Safi town near the Afghanistan border, about 85 km from provincial capital Peshawar.

Mohmand District Police Officer Mohmand Tariq Habib told Geo News that people are still buried under the rubble.

He said the rescue operations were hit due to darkness on Monday night and that heavy machinery had been mobilised on Tuesday for rescue operations.

Around 45 labourers were busy in excavation operations when the mine collapsed, the Dawn newspaper reported. (AP)

Deputy Commissioner Iftikhar Alam said the death toll is expected to rise, according to the daily.

Around 45 labourers were busy in excavation operations when the mine collapsed, the Dawn newspaper reported.

The Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) said nine people have been rescued, it reported.

Rescue Officer Bilal Faizi said most of the injured were in serious condition.

“An operation to rescue those trapped underneath the rubble is currently underway. Five ambulances and one recovery vehicle have been sent to Mohmand from Peshawar,” Dawn News reported, quoting a PDMA statement.

Mohmand district is a tribal agency area. It is famous for its marble reserves.

The rockslide incident brought back memories of a similar mine collapse incident in 2015 in Mohmand which killed 12 labourers.

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