9 labourers killed in marble mine slide in KP's Buner

Published February 22, 2020
Rescuers work at the site of the mine collapse. — Photo by author
Rescuers work at the site of the mine collapse. — Photo by author

At least nine labourers were killed and seven others injured in a marble mine slide in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa's Buner district on Saturday, officials said.

At least 14 other labourers are feared to be trapped under the rubble while a rescue operation is underway to recover them.

According to the KP Relief Department, more than 30 labourers were working at the marble mine in Bampokha village when portions of it collapsed, burying the workers under marble slabs and mounds of earth.

The injured were shifted to Dagger DHQ Hospital, Swat Medical Complex and Lady Reading Hospital in Peshawar.

A statement issued by the relief department quoted the Buner district disaster management officer (DDMO) as saying that three injured persons were shifted to Peshawar while received minor injuries.

It said Deputy Commissioner Khalid has contacted the director general mining to dispatch a technical team for the assessment of the area where people are feared to be trapped.

"There is a risk of further sliding because it is the vulnerable area/portion of the mountain ... this could further escalate sliding risk while carrying out the rescue operation," the statement added.

According to the relief department, police personnel, volunteer organisations and local community members are helping with the rescue operation. The requisite machinery and ambulances are also available at the scene.

KP Chief Minister Mahmood Khan directed his special assistant Riaz Khan to immediately reach the site of the incident. He directed authorities to speed up efforts to locate the missing labourers.

Khan said the provincial government is "standing with the affected families in this difficult hour".

The Salarzai Bampokha region is rich in marble resources, which are transported to parts of KP in large quantities.

According to locals, these marble mines fulfil about 70 per cent requirement of the rock across the country.

The landowners, leaseholders and agents earn billions of rupees but the labourers are often exposed to threats during mining, locals say.

Opinion

Trending political talk
18 May 2021

Trending political talk

Come December and the Lahore jalsa and the shirt lengths went up a bit. The fad was changing.
Policy rate primer
17 May 2021

Policy rate primer

Economic activity generated by a lower policy rate may be illusory.

Editorial

Hard balancing act
Updated 18 May 2021

Hard balancing act

Pakistan has enjoyed close relations with Washington and Beijing; now is the wrong time to start prioritising one over the other.
18 May 2021

Covid awareness

THE effects of large gatherings over Eid as well as multiple home visits will be apparent in the days to come and...
18 May 2021

Karachi’s drains

THE initial realisation that Cyclone Tauktae was headed for the Sindh coast prompted the powers that be in the...
Palestine bloodbath
Updated 17 May 2021

Palestine bloodbath

One wonders whether the right of self-defence allows a country to butcher toddlers and the disabled, as Tel Aviv has done in Gaza.
17 May 2021

Registering madressahs

DURING the past two decades, several attempts by successive governments to standardise and regularise madressahs ...
17 May 2021

LSM growth

THE robust growth in large-scale industrial output since July last year has generated a kind of economic optimism...