Provincial spokesman Ali Yazerloo said the blast happened at 12:45 p.m. local time (0945 GMT) and that the provincial governor was heading to the scene. At least 25 people who had entered the mine to try to save those trapped had to be taken to the hospital after inhaling the gas, said Hamidreza Montazeri, the deputy head of the emergency management department in Golestan. More than 500 workers are employed at the Zemestanyurt mine, which lies 14 kilometers (9 miles) from Azadshahr. Some of the trapped miners are believed died. Some 21 people have been so far taken out of the mine.
This is not the first disaster to strike Iran’s mining industry. In 2013, some 11 workers were killed in two separate mining incidents. In 2009, some 20 workers were killed in several incidents.