Thursday, January 31, 2013

Another week in Pokistan: school fire, coal mine deaths

Sixteen students suffered burn injuries when a fire erupted inside a school building in Nothia, Peshawar on Thursday morning, January 24. The fire started in the kitchen of Ali Model School at around 8:45am and soon engulfed the entire building where dozens of students were present in class rooms
At least six students fell unconscious due to suffocation, while another 10 received serious burns and sustained injuries in the ensuing stampede. All 16 students were rushed to Lady Reading Hospital (LRH) where their condition was said to be stable. Witnesses said the fire brigade was able to bring the inferno under control after 30 minutes of fire fighting. “The news of children stranded inside the school building caused panic among parents who rushed to the site,” said Sultan Khan, a resident
Rescue 1122 officials blamed the school’s employees working in the kitchen for their negligence. The schools administration, however, said the fire erupted due to an electric short circuit


At least eight coal mine workers were killed and two others fell unconscious on Monday January 28 by poisonous gas in a coal mine in Balochistan’s Loralai district
Sources told DawnNews that toxic gas accumulated in a coal mine causing ten coal miner workers to fall unconscious. Rescue and emergency teams rushed to the spot upon receiving information and pulled the workers out. But eight workers had died of suffocation before they could be rescued
“The blast took place due to methane gas. Eight workers died on the spot while two others were taken to hospital after being rescued,” said Mahound Iftikhar, the provincial chief inspector of mines, in a somewhat contradictory statement
He told AFP that the accident happened when 200 miners were working more than 600 metres underground
Mines in Pokistan are notorious for poor safety standards and ventilation

Workers and relatives gather around the entrance to the mine
News reports here and here.