Sunday, March 20, 2011

Methane blasts in Pakistan coal mine kill 6, trap 46


A methane gas explosion in a coal mine in southwestern Pakistan killed at least six miners Sunday and trapped 46 others, a top mining official said.

The mine, which is located in Baluchistan province, was declared dangerous two weeks ago, but the warning was ignored, said Iftikhar Ahmed, a top mining inspector. The mine is owned by the state-run Pakistan Mineral Development Corporation but leased to a contractor, he said.

Rescue workers were trying to reach the trapped miners, but methane gas was hampering their attempts, Ahmed said.

"We are trying to make a path, but the presence of gas is restricting the rescue effort," he said.

The mine is located some 25 miles east of the provincial capital, Quetta.

If gas explosion collapses a mine, would it have withstood a 9.0 magnitude earthquake?

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