Tue | Sep 26, 2017

21 killed in coal mine explosion

Published:Thursday | May 4, 2017 | 5:00 AM
Miners and rescue personnel carry an injured mine worker after a coal mine explosion, near Azadshahr in northern Iran yesterday

TEHRAN, Iran (AP):

Iranian news agencies are quoting provincial officials as saying that 21 miners died in a coal mine explosion earlier in the day in the country's north.

The explosion hit a coal mine in the province of Golestan yesterday, trapping dozens of miners.

After nightfall, Iran's official IRNA news agency said bodies of 21 miners had been found.

The report quoted Sadegh Ali Moghadam, the provincial director general of disaster management, as warning of the "possibility of the death toll rising".

Moghadam said about 35 people are now thought to have been trapped inside the mine.

The semi-official ISNA and Tasnim news agencies gave the same death toll. ISNA quoted Houman Hadian of the Golestan mining industry as saying the main tunnel of the mine is now open and that rescue teams are continuing their search.