KUCHING – The number of victims who were injured in the explosion at the coal mine in Selantik, Pantu near Sri Aman, about 130 km from here, today rose to 26 people.
Sri Aman District Police Chief, DSP Mat Jusoh Mohamad, said the three people who had died in the incident were identified as a Myanmar national, a North Korean and an Indonesian national.
The deceased were Tun Tun Win, 36, Pang Chung-hyok, 29, and Kardianto, 38. Their remains were at the Sri Aman hospital.
He said the incident, which occurred at about 9 am, was caused by sparks from a faulty fan which ignited a gas fire and explosion in a tunnel at the mine which was about 69 metres deep.
“During the incident, 29 workers who were in the tunnel rushed out to save themselves besides helping their colleagues who suffered serious injuries,” he said.
Mat Jusoh said the bodies of those who died in the incident had been taken to Sri Aman Hospital for post-mortem while 16 of the injured victims were also treated at the same hospital.
The other victims were referred to the Pantu Rural Clinic and Serian District Hospital, about 60 km from here.
Mat Jusoh said the coal mine, which was located three kilometres away from the Sri Aman-Kuching main road, had been in operation for the past eight years.
“There are currently 119 workers who are Chinese, Myanmar, Indonesian, Bangladeshi and North Korean nationals working at the mine,” he added. – BERNAMA