DOLI (Orakzai Agency): Security personnel and rescuers gather at the coalmine here on Sunday.—AFP
DOLI (Orakzai Agency): Security personnel and rescuers gather at the coalmine here on Sunday.—AFP

KALAYA/SHANGLA: An explosion in a coalmine in Doli area of the Orakzai tribal region on Saturday night claimed eight lives, it emerged on Sunday.

Orakzai Political Agent Mohammad Zubair told journalists at the conclusion of the rescue work that 37 miners trapped after a landslide caused by the blast were pulled out on Sunday.

Ten of the survivors suffered critical injuries and were taken to a government-run hospital in Kohat where one, identified as Deen Mohammed, died on Sunday evening. The other injured were admitted to a hospital in Korez area.

Mr Zubair said five of the deceased belonged to Shangla district and one each to Swat and Orakzai. They were buried in their native areas amid moving scenes.

Nine of the 36 survivors are said to have suffered serious injuries

Inter Services Public Relations, the military’s public affairs wing, said that about 100 army and Frontier Corps personnel had taken part in rescue work. They also provided medical aid to the injured.

Till Sunday morning, rescuers had retrieved one body and rescued 27 workers.

Officials said that heavy rain in the area was hampering rescue activities.

Ahmad Hussain, Sadam Hussain, Akhter Hussain and Ahmed Khan were buried in Borshat village of Kana Tehsil, Zakir in Banjar area of Alpuri and Fazal Hussain in Madin area of Swat.

One of the survivors, Gul Rahim, told Dawn that he was busy in his work when he saw a huge flame.

Even after 24 hours it was unclear what had caused the explosion.

“I ran to save my life,” Rahim said, adding that 14 of his colleagues had been trapped.

Some of the injured were identified as Nawab Khan, Sabaz Ali, Aurangzeb and Shahi Mulk.

Published in Dawn, March 14th, 2016