Up to 50 people trapped in coal mine after explosion in Iran

Wed 03 May 2017 12:00 GMT | 16:00 Local Time

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Dozens of people have become trapped in a coal mine in Iran following an explosion.

Iranian state media said that between 40 and 50 people are currently inside the mine in the north of the country.

The IRNA news agency attributes the figure to Golestan provincial emergency management department head Sadeq Ali Moghadam.

Ambulances, helicopters and other rescue teams have been deployed to the mine in Azadshahr.

Provincial spokesman Ali Yazerloo said the blast happened at 12.45pm local time (9.45am GMT) and that the provincial governor is heading to the scene.

Several Iranian news reports said the explosion happened while workers were changing shifts.

More than 500 workers are employed at the Zemestanyurt mine, which lies nine miles from Azadshahr, according to IRNA.

In 2010 a mining disaster happened in Mexico when 33 miners became trapped as a result of a cave-in. The miners spend 69 days underground before their painstakingly slow rescue.

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