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3 coal miners die after inhaling poisonous gas in Balochistan's Dukki district.

DUKKI -- At least three coal miners died on Sunday and two others were left unconscious as result of exposure to a poisonous gas inside a coal mine in Balochistan's Dukki district.

The incident occurred in the coal-rich Chamalang area of Dukki district.

Police official Ghulam Ali said the coal miners were working thousands of feet deep inside the mine when the incident happened. Other miners, through their own efforts, retrieved the bodies of the three deceased.

"We worked for six hours to retrieve the bodies of our fellow miners", Niamatullah, a coal miner told DawnNewsTV via telephone. There was no effort on the part of the government to help us, he lamented.

The unconscious miners were rushed to the nearby rural health centre for medical treatment.

The deceased miners belong to Zhob district of Balochistan. The bodies were handed over to their heirs at the hospital.

According to the Pakistan Central Mines Labour Federation, casualties from accidents among labourers working in coal mines range from 100 to 200 every year.

Coal mining has historically been fraught with hazards, which are similar to those associated with the aftermath of natural disasters: suffocation, gas poisoning, roof collapse, rock burst, gas explosions and a plethora of lung diseases, including incurable diseases like coalworker's pneumoconiosis, also known as black lung disease.

In the past eight years, more than 318 labourers working in coal mines have been killed in the course of their employment in Balochistan.

Just in the first eight months of this year, at least 50 miners have died in Balochistan and in August alone, 17 coal miners lost their lives in two separate incidents.

In one of these incidents, labourers were digging 300 feet deep in a coal mine owned by a local company in Bolan district, where they reportedly suffocated to death on account of lack of oxygen.

The other incident occurred due to an explosion in a coal mine in the Sanjdi area of Balochistan, claiming the lives of 15 labourers.

According to government sources, there are at least 20,000 labourers employed across Balochistan in 2,500 mines.

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Publication:Regional Times (Karachi, Pakistan)
Date:Nov 26, 2018
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