21 bodies recovered from Iran mine after blast.

04-05-2017
HT

Rescue workers recovered 21 bodies from a coal mine in northern Iran after an explosion caused a tunnel to collapse on Wednesday, news agencies reported.

Reza Bahrami, mining industry official in the Golestan province, said the 21 bodies were those of miners who went in to the tunnel to try to save colleagues, including many who were trapped.

At least 70 coal miners were trapped after an explosion in northern Iran on Wednesday, Iranian media said.

The mine in Golestan province collapsed when trapped methane gas exploded as workers tried to jump-start a locomotive engine, according to reports.

“Forty workers are trapped in one part of the mine and another 30 to 40 are trapped in another part,” the Fars and ISNA news agencies quoted the head of Iran’s emergency services, Pir Hossein Kolivand, as saying.

Twelve injured miners were pulled out alive, he said.

A local official said the tunnels were filled with gas, making rescue work difficult.

“Work to remove the rubble and drilling for a side tunnel has begun to access the trapped workers in the Zemestan Yort mine,” the official said.

The mine has 500 workers and the explosion happened during a change of shift, state media said.

Emergency teams and sniffer dogs have been dispatched to the mine and work to remove the rubble has begun.

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