On May 3, 2017, at 12:45 p.m. PT, an explosion in Zemestanyurt, a coal mine in Iran, killed at least 21 miners and trapped many others.
In the beginning, there was confusion about how many people were trapped inside the mine. The head of the provincial Red Crescent, Hossein Ahmadi, told state TV an inaccurate number of people. It was later found out that an even larger number of people were trapped than he originally thought.
At least 25 people tried to help the ones trapped inside but had to be hospitalized after inhaling the gas. Workers attempted to inject oxygen into the tunnel in order to increase the chances of survival for those inside.
After the blast occurred, several rescue vehicles came rushing to the scene to evaluate the damage. Officials say the blast occurred while the workers were changing shifts. It was caused by too much gas inside the mine. All the gas made it harder to rescue those inside successfully.
Two people were successfully rescued.
This is not the first time a disaster struck in an Iran coal mine. In 2009, 20 workers were killed in Iranian mines. In 2013, 11 workers were also killed working in the mines. The cause of this has often been blamed on inadequate emergency services.
The Public Slate will give an update on this story as soon as it becomes available.
By Trinity Oglesby
Edited by Cathy Milne
The Washington Post: Iran coal mine explosion