QUETTA, Pakistan (AP) — A senior mining official says rescue workers have recovered 15 more bodies from a coal mine in southwestern Pakistan that caved in after a methane gas explosion, raising the death toll to 21.
Iftikhar Ahmed, a top mine inspector, says the chances of survival are bleak for the 31 miners still trapped in the mine after Sunday’s accident. He said Monday that many of the miners they have found so far suffocated from methane gas.
The mine, which is located in Baluchistan province, was declared dangerous two weeks ago, but the warning was ignored. The mine is owned by the state-run Pakistan Mineral Development Corporation but leased to a contractor.
The mine is 25 miles (40 kilometers) east of the provincial capital, Quetta.