Quetta: Rescue operation to recover 11 miners trapped in a coal mine in Quetta district was still continuing for over 24 hours on Monday, with diminishing chances of recovering the ill-fated labourers alive. The workers were trapped on Sunday when poisonous gas accumulated in the Degari area mine. Officials from mines department, PDMA and Levis personnel were taking part in the rescue operation. Rescue sources said the miners are trapped in 4,000 feet  depth while a 300 feet section of the mine has collapsed.

Balochistan Minister for Mines and Minerals Development, Shafqat Fayyaz, said that the authorities were trying their level best to rescue the coal workers.

Chief Minister Jam Kamal Alyani had also taken notice of the matter and directed the Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) to deploy its technical team and ensure the safe recovery of the miners, provincial government spokesperson Liaquat Shahwani told a TV news channel.

But Balochistan's Labour Federation expressed dissatisfaction with the government efforts. A member of the body, Peer Muhammad Kakar said neither the government nor the mine owners were bothered about the plight of the hapless miners. “The administration is still clueless about the trapped miners even though 24 hours have passed [since they were trapped]."

Coal mining is considered much more hazardous than hard rock mining. Poor working conditions claim the lives of miners on an almost daily basis in different parts of the province, but often go unreported.

As many as 100 and 200 labourers die on average in coal mine accidents every year, according to the Pakistan Central Mines Labour Federation (PCMLF). – Nation Monitoring