Explosion Likely in Baghlan Coal Mine: Official

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The head of Baghlan Mining Department on Thursday raised concerns over a fire in a Baghlan coal mine as insurgents continue to keep a grip on the volatile region where the mine is located.

Shah Mahmoud Faizad said that the fire broke out in the mine almost a month ago, warning that the fire could devastate the mine – which is a key income source for the country. ‎

He added that the insurgents still have control of the area despite several military operations.

“Individuals associated with Hizb-e-Islami control the mines, the extractions have been terminated at the mine since June but the mine is being threatened; already there is a fire blazing in the mine and there has been seismic activity, there is a possibility that the mine will explode, if the mine explodes it would be impossible to revive the mine,” said Faizad.

Economic commentators have said that an explosion in the mine could have a massive economic impact. They called on government to take action and resolve the issue.

“Baghlan coal mine is one of the major sources of national revenue, firstly it was the responsibility of the local officials to inform the ministry of mines about the issue, secondly the central government should have taken action on time, if an explosion happens, it will pose major economic losses to the people,” said economist Dur Mohammad Arya Nejhad.

“The fire broke out in the mine, if the government does not focus and an explosion happens, government will face a major loss,” said university lecturer Qayoum Shariati.

“We call on government to settle the problem as soon as possible, if an explosion happens, in Baghlan coal mine, extraction will be impossible in the future,” said economic analyst Bashir Ahmad Bisharat.

The privatization of Baghlan coal mine and Baghlan cement factory was completed almost a year ago, however the presence of insurgents around the mines in Baghlan have undermined operations.

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