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2 Dead, Dozens Reportedly Trapped In Iranian Coal Mine Blast

In this picture released by the Tasnim News Agency, miners and rescue personnel carry an injured mine worker after a coal mine explosion, near Azadshahr in northern Iran.  (AP Photo/Tasnim News Agency, Mostafa Hassanzadeh)

An explosion tore through a coal mine in northern Iran on Wednesday, killing at least two miners and trapping scores more, according to Iranian state media.

Press TV, the English language arm of Iranian state television, reported the deaths of the two miners.

The head of Iran's Emergency Center, Pir Hossein Kolivand, said as many as 80 miners could be trapped in two different sections of the mine, according to Press TV.

According to The Associated Press:

"Provincial spokesman Ali Yazerloo said the blast happened at 12:45 p.m. local time (0945 GMT) and that the provincial governor was heading to the scene. Several officials blamed the explosion on accumulated gas and said it was affecting rescue efforts.

"At least 25 people who had entered the mine to try to save those trapped had to be taken to the hospital after inhaling the gas, said Hamidreza Montazeri, the deputy head of the emergency management department in Golestan."

Press TV posted several photos of people gathered at what appeared to be a mine entrance, and emergency workers caring for those injured.

More than 500 miners work at the mine just outside the city of Azadshahr in Golestan Province, according to IRNA, Iran's state news agency.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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