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22 Killed, 80 Injured in Golestan Mine Explosion

Some of the injured were miners who had gone into the mine to try to save their colleagues.Some of the injured were miners who had gone into the mine to try to save their colleagues.

At least 22 miners died and 83 were injured, in the large explosion that struck a coal mine in Zemestanyurt, 14 km from Azadshahr in the northern province of Golestan in Iran, Wednesday.

Fifteen miners are still trapped inside the mine. Among the injured, 60 have been discharged, and the remaining are still in medical care with two in critical condition, according to head of Iran Emergency Services Pirhossein Kolivand.

Rescue teams are working frantically to reach the trapped miners. Several officials blamed the explosion on accumulated gas and said it was hampering rescue efforts.

The bodies of the 22 victims were retrieved by Thursday night. Local news outlets said the explosion happened while workers were changing shifts. Hassan Sadeghlou, Golestan’s governor, told state TV that the explosion may have been sparked during attempts to restart a locomotive engine inside the mine tunnel.

The main tunnel of the mine was opened after several hours of rescue work after the blast, with teams trying to get to the miners. Sadegh Ali Moqaddam, provincial director of disaster management, warned of the “possibility of the death toll rising” as authorities estimate that a total of 35 miners were inside the mine at the time of the blast.

“We are trying to inject oxygen into the tunnel to increase the chances of survival for those who are trapped,” he said.  Provincial spokesman Ali Yazerloo said the blast happened at 12.45 pm local time and ambulances, helicopters and other rescue vehicles raced to the site to provide emergency services.

Some of the injured were miners who had gone into the mine to try to save their colleagues. They had to be taken to hospital for gas inhalation.

More than 500 workers are employed at the Zemestanyurt mine, according to IRNA.

 

 

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