Explosions in mines in Pakistan: the death toll has risen

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Twenty-three people were killed and 11 wounded after gas explosions tore through two neighbouring coal mines in southwestern Pakistan, officials said Sunday.

The Marwar and Surrang coalfields lie east of Baluchistan's capital Quetta.

Officials said that the explosion was caused by increased volumes of methane.

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Balochistan's Chief Inspector of Mines Iftikhar Ahmed said bodies of two miners had been recovered from the mine on Saturday and it was thought that five other miners had been trapped in the mine after being hit by a landslide inside the mine. Two workers were rescued in an unconscious condition, while bodies of two miners were recovered Saturday night.

Now rescue is trying to find other people who could be under the rubble. 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.

"There were no arrangement inside the mine, including air ventilation", Akhterzada, an injured coal miner told Al Jazeera.

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There were 30 labourers inside the mine when the explosion occurred.

"The collapse apparently took place because of a gas explosion and the miners working at that time were trapped inside". According to the Pakistan Mining Labour Federation, between 100 and 200 miners die in accidents annually.

The mines are mostly owned by state-run Pakistan Mineral Development Corporation, which leases many of them to private contractors.

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