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Pakistan: Two coal miners killed and one seriously injured

13 February, 2017Two miners were killed and another seriously injured in an accident at a coal mine in the Mahi Toor Ghar area of Harnai Baluchistan province on 5 February.

Mine workers Muhammad Salam and Nida Muhammad were killed, and Khan Wali was seriously injured, when the mine they were working in collapsed following a gas explosion.

Rescue teams recovered the bodies after several hours and moved them to a civil hospital. The bodies were released to family members after examination.

Pakistan has a poor mining safety record, and gas explosions caused by the accumulation of methane gases are common in Baluchistan mines. Mining accidents claim many lives, and the government of Pakistan has so far failed to act on calls to ratify ILO Convention 176 on Safety and Health in Mines or take meaningful steps to ensure mine safety.

Glen Mpufane, IndustriALL Global Union mining director said,

“IndustriALL has reported many fatal accidents and demanded that the government of Pakistan ensure the safety of mine workers.

“It is disappointing to note that no progress has been made. IndustriALL reiterates its demand that the government of Pakistan immediately ratify and implement the ILO C 176.

“IndustriALL is also calling on the ILO to make an intervention in Pakistan as part of its decent work programme.                                           

“Industriall is urging the ILO to make good on their commitment to the All Pakistan Labour Federation to conduct much needed health and safety workshop training in Pakistan, particularly in the mining affected regions such Baluchistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.”

Sultan Muhammad Khan, secretary general of the Pakistan Central Mines Labour Federation and president of IndustriALL Pakistan Council said,

“About 250,000 coal miners in Baluchistan face serious problems as no adequate safety measures are in place in the mines across the province.

“The IndustriALL Pakistan Council calls upon the government to act immediately to ensure appropriate safety procedures are followed and adequate safety equipment is provided to miners. The government should bring effective legislation to ensure the safety of mine workers.”