Afghan Miners Killed in Coal Mine Collapse
TEHRAN (Tasnim) - At least 27 miners in Afghanistan have been killed in a collapse in a coal mine in the northern Samangan province, officials said.
The collapse occurred on Saturday evening at the Abkhorak coal mine, 300km northwest of the country's capital, Kabul.
Emergency rescue teams rushed to the scene on Sunday, and have successfully rescued all the trapped miners.
Provincial governor's spokesperson Mohammad Seddiq Azizi said that the men had been working at the Abkhorak coal mine when part of it collapsed.
"They were working in a coal mine when part of the mine collapsed on them. We are heading to the scene for further investigation," Azizi said, adding that 20 other miners had been injured.
Four Afghan miners are reportedly critically injured.
Workplace safety standards are poor in Afghanistan as in many developing nations, and such accidents are common.
"Most of those injured are locals who rushed to the site to help those trapped in the mine," said Al Jazeera's Jane Ferguson, reporting from Kabul.
"These mines are often rudimentary, almost makeshift, in the way they are held up with wooden sticks - such incidents do happen here."
Afghanistan is estimated to be sitting on as much as $1tn in untapped mineral resources but decades of war and instability have kept most investors away.
The government says it expects to make as much as $4bln a year in mining revenues in the decade from 2014, when most Western forces are due to leave, compared with less than $150mln from its resources sector last year.