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Iran officials say 21 miners killed in coal mine explosionWed, 03 May, 2017 | Posted By: The Times Of Earth (TOE)

Iran officials say 21 miners killed in coal mine explosion Rescue personnel carry an injured mine worker after a coal mine explosion, near Azadshahr in northern Iran, Wednesday, May, 3, 2017. (AP Photo/Tasnim News Agency, Mostafa Hassanzadeh)
 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 on Wednesday, 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. 

SOURCE: Associated Press 
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