Blast in southwest Pakistan coalmine kills 7, injures 3

A Pakistani mining official says an explosion inside a coalmine has killed seven miners and injured three others

QUETTA, Pakistan -- Seven Pakistani miners were killed and three injured in a explosion Friday inside a coalmine in southwest Pakistan, a local mining official said.

Rescue workers pulled the injured from the mine and had recovered all the bodies, said Shafqat Mahmood, a mine inspector in Baluchistan province, where the accident took place.

He said investigators were still working to determine the cause of the blast near Degari, a town about 100 kilometers (60 miles) east of Quetta, Baluchistan's capital city. He provided no further details.

Safety standards are commonly ignored in the coal mining industry in Pakistan, leading to accidents and explosions that have killed numerous mine workers in recent years.

In July, rescue teams struggled to save 10 miners trapped in a coalmine in the Degari area after a methane gas explosion. Seven of the miners eventually died. The explosion occurred more than 4,000 feet (1,220 meters) below the surface.

Miners often complain that owners fail to install safety equipment. Despite the danger and low wages, hundreds of miners work in Baluchistan, where unemployment is higher than other parts of the country.

Separatists have for years waged a low-level insurgency in Baluchistan, complaining of discrimination and demanding a fairer share of the province’s resources and wealth.