Iran coal mine explosion death toll rises to 42

A coal mine explosion that struck northern Iran killed at least 35 people, semi-official news agencies reported Thursday, as rescuers worked a second day to reach those trapped inside after the blast.

An official in the Golestan provincial government, Reza Morovati said seven more bodies had been recovered from the Zemestan-Yurt mine, near Azadshahr.

Efforts to remove rubble and search for other bodies were continuing, he added.

The blast occurred when methane gas that had accumulated inside a tunnel was ignited, causing it to collapse.

The Fars, Mehr and Tasnim news agencies all carried similar reports. In a live broadcast by state television, Sadegh Ali Moghadam, the provincial director general of disaster management, said 22 dead bodies had been recovered.

The province will observe three days of mourning after the explosion, Iranian state television reported.







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