Kabul, Jun 10 (efe-epa).- Afghan authorities said on Wednesday that they had recovered the corpses of eight miners and 10 others were also feared dead as they remained trapped a day after a deadly explosion at a coal mine in northern Afghanistan.
The incident took place on Tuesday in the Dar-e-Sof district of the northern Samangan province when an explosion caused part of the mine to collapse on top of miners who were working inside a tunnel, the provincial governor’s spokesperson Sediq Azizi told EFE.
“Two of the workers, who were working outside the tunnel lost their lives due to the intensity of the explosion and out of the remaining 16 workers who were inside the tunnel, so far the dead bodies of six have been brought out,” Azizi said.
The spokesperson said that rescue workers, who had arrived at the site hours after the explosion, were unable to find any survivors of the powerful explosion. He added that as per initial information, the explosion may have been caused by a concentration of methane gas inside the tunnel.
A provincial official told EFE on the condition of anonymity that the mine may have been illegal.
“This mine was illegal and no safety measures were taken on the site to save the lives of the workers,” he said.
The official said that the workers at the mine were poor residents of the central Daikundi province.
Afghanistan is rich in mineral resources, but its mining industry has developed informally in many regions, with workers finding themselves in precarious conditions. The most important deposits, according to official sources, are iron and copper, as well as niobium and gold.
According to official estimates by the United States, Afghanistan’s mineral deposits are so valuable that they can transform the country into one of the most important mining centers of the world, but their exploration and extraction could take decades due to the lack of infrastructure in the war-torn country. EFE-EPA