Rescue operation still underway on fourth day
The death toll in the Mohmand marble mine collapse has risen to 23. As of Friday morning, the rescue operation is still under way.
A mine collapsed after a landslide on September 7. The Ziarat Marble Mines are located in Mohmand’s Saafi tehsil. A fragment of a nearby mountain suddenly crashed into the mine, crushing workers, vehicles and machine drivers.
In a landslide, masses of rock, earth, or debris move down a slope. Work was underway at the marble mine when a portion of a mountain came crumbling down and hit the mine. Initially, the residents of the area started rescuing people themselves after which rescue teams were called in.
The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa PDMA director general, Pervaiz Khan, said rescue operations have to be suspended at night. Work to pull out bodies and injured people is still under way.
So far, 23 bodies and nine injured men have been pulled out from beneath the debris. Local administration and rescue teams are conducting the operation.
Khan said rescue efforts are under way at six to eight points. He said they are facing some difficulties because the mountain isn’t smooth and it’s not easy for the machines to move around.
There is also no data on how many people were at the mine and where exactly they were working. Because of this, he is unable to say how many people are still stuck in the mine.
The bodies and injured men have been shifted to hospitals in Ghalanai, Bajaur and Peshawar. Most of the bodies have been handed over to the victims’ families.
There is no law governing the safety of miners in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Little to no safety precautions are taken at these mines and incidents are often reported in Dara Adam Khel’s coal mines, as well as the marble mines in Buner and neighbouring areas.
Labourers in Pakistan work under extremely difficult conditions, said Federal Science Minister Fawad Chaudhry on Twitter. The provincial governments must strictly implement labour laws, he remarked. “I hope the provincial government stands with the families of these labourers and not desert them during these testing times.”