Death toll from marble mine collapse in Pakistan rises to 18

The death toll from a marble mine collapse in northwest Pakistan rose to 18 on Tuesday, with rescuers pulling four more bodies from the debris, police said.

At least 14 miners died and eight others injured on Monday when a marble mine collapsed during rock blasting in Zairat mountain at Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Mohmand district. The labourers were busy in excavation when the cave-in took place.

Mohmand District Police Officer (DPO) Tariq Habib said while rescue crews pulled four more bodies, 15 to 20 people are still trapped under the debris.

The rescue operation has been expedited, he said.

Mining accidents are common in Pakistan where safety standards are often ignored.

In February, 10 workers were killed in a rockslide at a marble quarry in Buner district. In 2018, thirty workers were killed in explosions at two coal mines near Quetta. At least 43 miners were killed in Balochistan’s Sorange district in 2011 as a result of a blast in a coal mine.