Death toll from collapsed mine in NW Pakistan rises to 22

PESHAWAR, Pakistan (AP) — Rescue crews using heavy machinery recovered 14 more bodies from a collapsed marble mine in northwestern Pakistan on Tuesday, raising the death toll from the incident to 22, officials said.

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The cause of the cave-in had not been determined. Mining accidents are common in Pakistan, where safety regulations are often ignored.

An estimated 35 miners were loading marble onto trucks Monday when huge boulders fell on them at the mine in the Mohmand district near the Afghan border.

The first eight bodies were pulled out the same day, while 14 more were retrieved after daylong rescue operation Tuesday, said Khateer Ahmad, who heads the state-run emergency service in the northwest.

He said there were still more miners trapped under the huge boulders.

According to the provincial labor minister, Shaukat Yousafzai, the cave-in also injured nine miners.

There was speculation among local residents that explosives were detonated to extract the marble, triggering a rockslide. Officials said an investigation was still underway to determine the cause of the cave-in.