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Efforts to rescue miners intensified

KARACHI: Rescuers working to find three workers trapped inside the Dudder mine in Lasbela have managed to reach 600 metres deep inside the mine and create ventilation in it.

The Chief Inspector Mines in Balochistan, Iftikhar Ahmed, told Dawn on Saturday that there was a slim chance of the three men — two Chinese engineers and one Pakistani electrician — of having survived. But, he added, “we are still hopeful and working at the site to find them alive”.

A lift carrying five workers — four Chinese engineers and one Pakistani electrician — fell 1,000 deep inside the lead and zinc mine on Sept 24. Two Chinese engineers had managed to reach the shaft and come out of the mine through ladders. The two other Chinese engineers and electrician Mohammad Anwar were trapped inside the mine.

Deputy Commissioner of Lasbela told Dawn that there was hope that the rescuers would find the three workers soon. “The vertical length of the mine is one kilometre. Gases and heat inside the mine are creating hurdles in the rescue work,” he added.

A four-member team of Chinese experts reached the Dudder area of Lasbela district two days ago to take part in the rescue work.

The chairman of MMC Huaye Dudder Mining Company, Zou Jianhui, has also rushed to the site from Beijing and its president, Kong Fuian, is already at the site supervising the rescue operation.

According to officials at the directorate of mines, the two Chinese engineers had gone inside the mine to rescue the Pakistani worker, but they were also trapped there.

The entire power system providing electricity and fresh air and machinery used for cooling high temperatures inside the mine was destroyed due to the incident.

Published in Dawn October 2nd, 2016

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