Hundreds risk lives in Morocco 'mines of death'

Last week, two brothers died in a tunnel accident, 85 metres (90 yards) below ground, sparking days of mass protests in the impoverished city.

Hundreds risk lives in Morocco 'mines of death'

World Bulletin / News Desk

They call them "the mines of death". In the neglected northern Moroccan mining city of Jerada, hundreds of people risk their lives every day to scrape a meagre living from perilous abandoned coal pits.

Abderrazak Daioui, who was with the brothers, narrowly escaped the same fate.

"Houcine and Jedouane were just below me," the 22-year-old said.

"One of them dug horizontally and hit a water well. We were flooded. I hung on my rope and managed to get back up. They weren't so lucky."

Living in a modest, unfinished house, Abderrazak works to support his wife and daughter, his six brothers and his 80-year-old father -- himself a former miner.

"There is no alternative, no work. That's why I risk my life," Abderrazak said.

Earning as little as 100 dirhams ($11, nine euros) per day, he has worked in the mines for over three years.

He says he drinks "lots of milk" in a bid to counter the effects of the coal dust he inhales.

The deaths of the two brothers, aged 23 and 30, sparked a wave of protests as residents accused the authorities of leaving them to their fate.

Thousands of people protested Tuesday against economic marginalisation, accusing authorities of "abandoning" them.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 27 Aralık 2017, 20:55