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Death Toll In Pakistan Mine Explosion Rises to 24

Rescue workers have recovered 18 more bodies from a coal mine in southwestern Pakistan, raising the death toll in the accident to 24.

Mining inspector Ifitkhar Ahmed says a methane gas explosion caused the mine to collapse on March 20 about 40 kilometers east of Quetta.

Ahmed says the chances of survival are bleak for another 28 miners thought to be trapped in the mine. He said most of those miners who were killed had suffocated from methane gas.

The mine in Baluchistan province was declared dangerous two weeks ago. But Ahmed says the warning was ignored.

The mine is owned by the state-run Pakistan Mineral Development Corporation but it is leased to a private contractor.