Rescue operations are underway in southeastern Iran to free three miners trapped in the Hejdak coal mine in the Ravar district of Kerman province, an official with the Ministry of Industries and Mines says.
Four miners were buried under debris at a depth of 600 meters
after the mine collapsed on Tuesday, IRNA quoted Hossein Sedaqat as saying.
Rescuers transferred the body of one of the miners to the surface on Tuesday night, but the fate of the others is still unknown, he added.
Sedaqat said, "After the collapse of the mine, local, and safety officials gathered at the site of the accident, and various groups were mobilized to check on the condition of the four miners... We have so far provided the preliminary means for excavation operations, and we have made good progress in this regard."
Ravar Governor Farajollah Arefi said on Friday that the mine goes deep into a
mountain and the rescuers must crawl along a tunnel they have dug to reach the
three, and thus must operate very slowly and carefully.
He also stated that rescuers from other cities and countries haven't been required "because of the unique nature of coal mines and the fact that mining conditions and methods vary from mine to mine."
However, a Ukrainian specialist is helping Iranian experts at the scene, he added.
There was no indication of human error or faulty equipment, Arefi said, noting
that experienced miners say this type of accident is very rare.
The only similar incident took place before the victory of the Islamic Revolution of 1979, but that was less intense, although it still required seven days of operations to free the miners, he stated.
Five Days after a Mining Accident in Kerman Three Miners Remain Missing
By Bahram Rafiee, Rooz Online
Five days after the collapse of Hejdak mine near the city of Ravar in Kerman province which trapped four young miners, one is found dead but there is still no information on the fate of the other three mine workers. Meanwhile, similar to many previous disasters, the officials in charge are giving contradictory press releases, some indicating the death of all trapped miners and others pointing to the possibility of their survival 600 meters underground.
Yesterday Houshyar Ahmadi, in charge of public relations of the labor department
of Kerman province, hopeful of the miners survival, said, "According to the
Ukrainian consultant of the mining company, if the three trapped miners are
taking shelter under the mine's support beams, they will have enough air to
breath and there can be hope for their survival."
In contrast, the CEO of the Mining Development and Renovation Organization, Hasan Plarak, has expressed his condolences to the miners' families saying, "Efforts to bring out the bodies of the trapped miners have started." He also added, "Following the accident, a special committee led by myself and the undersecretary of mining along with expert consultants has been conducting rescue operations with full technological capacity and in close cooperation with rescue organizations in Kerman province."
But Farajollah Arefi, the governor of Ravar, by saying that the Hejdak mine collapse was a strange and rare mishap, announced, "Therefore the rescue operation has been slow and unfortunately there are still three miners trapped underground but several expert teams have been mobilized since two days ago and are holding meetings to assess all rescue options."
On the other hand, while the families of the trapped miners have gathered at the
mining site of Hejdak in Kerman in anticipation of good news, the public
relation official of the coroner's office of Kerman provided no information on
the death of one of the trapped miners and said, "The coroner's office of Kerman
has not yet received the body of the miner allegedly found in the collapsed mine
of Eshkili. Therefore this office cannot release any statement on the victims of
this accident or their numbers."
Last year in December another four miners were killed because of gas poisoning in the same Hejdak mine in Ravar. The province of Kerman with its many mines has recently been the scene of a number of mining accidents in which scores of miners have lost their lives. Mehr News Agency, affiliated with the Islamic Propagation Organization, has announced that "The coal mines of Kerman following their privatization during the last two years have turned into a tragic stage for mining accidents due to which up to 30 miners have perished so far." Also Iranian Labor News Agency (ILNA) quoted from Ayyar Karbakhsh, the secretary of the Labor House of Kerman, "On average one person dies each month and one gets injured each day due to mining accidents in Kerman."
Related Article: Photos: The Deprived Coal Miners of Zarand, Kerman
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