At least 27 Afghan miners have been killed in a collapse after being trapped underground in the northern province of Samangan, officials have confirmed.
Provincial governor’s spokesman Mohammad Seddiq Azizi said that the men had been working at the Abkhorak coal mine when part of it collapsed.
Four members of the rescue teams were badly injured.
An official said the rescue teams did not have the appropriate equipment. Mining is a state-controlled industry.
It is feared that at least 13 other miners could still be trapped in the mine 135 miles north of the capital, Kabul.
The collapse is the latest accident to hit Afghanistan’s mining industry.
In December, 11 miners were reported to have been killed in a similar incident in the northern province of Baghlan.
The country is known to have vast reserves of oil, gas, copper, cobalt, gold and lithium.
Afghanistan is also known to have a wider array of mineral resources; in 2010, the ministry of mines claimed its reserves were worth nearly $1 trillion.