Iranian VP Urges Probe into Deadly Mine Blast in Northeast Province
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iranian First Vice-President Eshaq Jahangiri called for the establishment of a task force to find the cause of a blast in a coal mine northeast of the country, which led to the killing of 35 miners.
In an emergency meeting held on Thursday evening to address the deadly blast and collapse of the ‘Zemestan-Yurt’ mine in the northeastern province of Golestan, Jahangiri offered his deep condolences to the bereaved families of the victims of the “heartbreaking incident”.
“It is necessary to urgently establish a committee comprised of the Ministry of Industry, Mine and Trade, the Ministry of Cooperatives, Labor and Social Welfare and the Ministry of Interior to carefully examine various dimensions of the incident,” he noted.
The first vice-president further urged the Ministry of Cooperatives, Labor and Social Welfare to prioritize the treatment, the payment of wages, and the living conditions of the families of those killed and injured in the incident.
The meeting held as head of Iran's Crisis Management Organization Esmail Najjar announced on Thursday night that the bodies of 26 people have been retrieved, 21 of whom have been identified.
He added that 73 other workers have been injured in the incident.
Earlier reports said 35 coal miners have died in ‘Zemestan-Yurt’ mine after a gas explosion and raging fire on Wednesday.
The blast occurred at midday at a depth of 1,200 meters in the coal mine. Officials say the explosion occurred after a locomotive stalled at a depth of 700 meters and the workers tried to jump-start the vehicle with an external battery. Electric sparks triggered the explosion in the tunnel filled with methane.
Three days of public mourning has been declared in Golestan province, which lies along the Caspian Sea and borders Turkmenistan.