Afghan coal mine collapse kills at least 15 people

AP News
Posted: Apr 30, 2014 9:48 AM

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — An official says a coal mine collapse in northern Afghanistan has killed at least 15 workers.

The governor of Samangan province, Hirullah Anush, said two other miners were missing in the collapse Wednesday morning in the remote district of Dara Seuf. He said the bodies of the 15 workers were recovered from the rubble.

Anush said the province has about 2,000 coal mines that are technically legal, since they pay tax to the government. But the mines operate in difficult conditions with workers using shovels and pick axes.

He said the provincial government has tried to shut down some mines deemed unsafe, but those in remote areas simply reopen. Most of the coal extracted is burned for heat in the winter or exported to Kabul or Pakistan.