The death toll from a mine collapse in NWFP has risen to 22

Rescue workers using heavy machinery recovered 14 more bodies from a collapsed marble mine in northwestern Pakistan on Tuesday, bringing the death toll to 22, officials said.

The death toll from a mine collapse in NWFP has risen to 22

The reason for entering the cave could not be determined. Mining accidents are common in Pakistan, where safety regulations are often, ignored.

An estimated 35 miners were loading marble on trucks Monday when a large rock fell on them at a mine in Mohmand District, near the Afghan border.

Khateer Ahmed, head of the state-run emergency services in the North West, said the first eight bodies had been exhumed’ on the same day, but were recovered on Tuesday after a daylong rescue operation.

"Many miners are still trapped under the rocks on a large scale," he said.

According to provincial labor minister Shaukat Yousafzai, nine miners were injured’ in the cave.

There was speculation among locals that an explosive device had been detonated’ to extract marble, triggering a rock explosion. An investigation is under way to determine the cause of the caveat, officials said.


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