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Death Toll In Pakistan Mine Tragedy Rises To 43

Rescue workers retrieve the body of one of the miners who was killed on March 20.
Officials in Pakistan say the death toll from an underground coal mine accident in Balushistan Province has been raised to 43 and that there are no survivors.

Rescue operation at the mine, about 40 kilometers east of Quetta, have been called off.

Mining inspector Ifitkhar Ahmed says a methane gas explosion caused the mine to collapse on March 20.

He said most of those killed had suffocated from methane gas.

The mine was declared dangerous two weeks ago. But Ahmed says the warning was ignored by the mine's operator.

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

RFE/RL's Radio Mashaal, with agency reports