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Morocco: Teenager Killed in Coal Mine Collapse

Morocco: Teenager Killed in Coal Mine Collapse

Thursday, 8 November, 2018 - 09:00
The northeastern Moroccan mining town of Jerada saw unprecedented protests in spring after four people died in mining accidents | AFP
Rabat- Asharq Al-Awsat

A teenager died Wednesday in Morocco when an abandoned coal mine collapsed in the impoverished former mining town of Jerada which saw protests earlier this year following similar accidents.

Local newspapers and an activist in the northeastern town said the 18-year-old had gone into the mine to collect coal.

His death triggered a demonstration by hundreds of residents, they said.

Several videos of Moroccans condemning the death of the young man have gone viral on social media.

One video shows people carrying the miner’s body.

Last December, the accidental deaths of two brothers trapped in a mine shaft, followed by two other deaths under similar circumstances, sparked months of unrest and protests in the town.

Hundreds of illegal miners in the town risk their lives in abandoned mine shafts to extract coal, the sale of which is legal thanks to operating permits issued by Moroccan authorities.

Moroccan authorities have vowed to close all the abandoned mines.

The mines, deemed uneconomical, were closed at the end of the 1990s at the cost of some 9,000 jobs in a region whose economy depended heavily on coal.

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