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Death toll from marble mine collapse in Pakistan rises to 19; dozens battle for life

Majority of the deceased include labourers and few others who had gathered at the foothill in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa's Safi town near the Afghanistan border.

Published: 08th September 2020 03:13 PM  |   Last Updated: 08th September 2020 05:51 PM   |  A+A-

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Mining accidents are common in Pakistan where safety standards are often ignored. (Representational Image)

By PTI

PESHAWAR: At least 19 people have been killed and dozens were battling for their lives after six units of the famed marble mines in Pakistan's Ziarat Ghar mountain collapsed, causing large boulders to fall on them, according to media reports on Tuesday.

The mines collapsed on Monday night, instantly killing 12 miners, the Geo News reported.

The death toll rose after seven more succumbed to injuries at the District Mohmand Hospital.

Majority of the deceased include labourers and few others who had gathered at the foothill in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa's Safi town near the Afghanistan border, about 85 km from provincial capital Peshawar.

Mohmand District Police Officer Mohmand Tariq Habib told Geo News that 15 to 20 people are still buried under the rubble.

He said the rescue operations were hit due to darkness on Monday night and that heavy machinery had been mobilised on Tuesday for rescue operations.

Deputy Commissioner Iftikhar Alam said the death toll is expected to rise, according to the daily.

Around 45 labourers were busy in excavation operations when the mine collapsed, the Dawn newspaper reported.

The Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) said nine people have been rescued, it reported.

Rescue Officer Bilal Faizi said most of the injured were in serious condition.

"An operation to rescue those trapped underneath the rubble is currently underway. Five ambulances and one recovery vehicle have been sent to Mohmand from Peshawar," Dawn News reported, quoting a PDMA statement.

Mohmand district is a tribal agency area.

It is famous for its marble reserves.

The rockslide incident brought back memories of a similar mine collapse incident in 2015 in Mohmand which killed 12 labourers.

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