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21 killed in Iran coal mine explosion

A large explosion has struck at a coal mine in northern Iran, killing 21 miners, officials said.

The blast hit a mine in the province of Golestan, trapping dozens of workers.

After nightfall, Iran's official IRNA news agency said the bodies of 21 miners had been found.

The report quoted Sadegh Ali Moghadam, the provincial director general of disaster management, as warning of the "possibility of the death toll rising".

About 35 people are thought to have been trapped inside the mine.

The semi-official ISNA and Tasnim news agencies gave the same death toll. ISNA quoted Houman Hadian of the Golestan mining industry as saying the main tunnel of the mine is now open and that rescue teams are continuing their search.

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