A coal mine in Balochistan province of southwest Pakistan collapsed following a blast caused by methane gas, killing seven miners and trapping 43 others, officials said.
The explosion in the mine at Sorang, located about 30 km from provincial capital Quetta, was caused by the accumulation of methane gas.
The mine is operated by state-run Pakistan Mineral Development Corporation.
At least seven miners were killed and 43 were trapped in the mine that caved in at 3 am, Chief Mine Inspector Iftikhar Ahmed told the media.
Other officials said 12 unconscious miners were pulled out by rescue workers.
Rescue teams began removing rubble from the mine though efforts were hampered by the lack of machinery, TV news channels reported.
Over 50 workers were in the poorly ventilated mine when the blast occurred.
One entrance to the mine was blocked by debris while the accumulation of gases made it dangerous to go into two other entrances, officials told the media.
Mishaps occur quite frequently in coal mines in Balochistan due to lax safety standards.
Pakistan is estimated to have coal reserves of over 180 billion tonnes.
Pakistan: 7 Killed, 43 Trapped in Mine Blast
Rezaul H Laskar/Islamabad
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