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, a mining industry official in the province of Golestan where the accident occurred, said the 21 bodies were those of miners who went into the tunnel to try to save colleagues, including many who were trapped.
“Some 600 metres (yards) of the tunnel has been cleared” and emergency crews were still at work in the mile-long Zemestan Yort mine, Bahrami added.
“Thirty-two miners have been trapped at the end of one of the shafts 1,300 meters deep into the mine,” Golestan governor Hassan Sadeghlou said, quoted by state media. Poisonous gas inside the tunnel has hampered the rescue work.