AYBAK, Afghanistan, Sept. 15 (Xinhua) -- Up to 27 people were killed and 20 others injured in Saturday's coal mine collapse in northern Afghanistan's Samangan province, local sources reported Sunday morning.
"The rescue operation is concluded. As many as 27 bodies of local workers have been recovered since Saturday afternoon when the mine collapsed. And 20 others were injured,"provincial government spokesman Mohammad Seddiq Azizi told Xinhua.
The incident occurred in Abkhorak mine in Ro-e-Dohab district at midday. Nearly 50 people were trapped under the debris there.
Hundreds of local people also joined the police and rescue team to help save the lives in the province with Aybak as its capital, 215 km north of Afghan capital Kabul.
Mine accidents and worker deaths have also occurred in the past in the war-torn country. Smaller mines often escape inspection and bypass many basic safety standards.
The Afghan government has recently closed down several coal mines in northern provinces for fear of collapse.
A total of 11 workers were killed in a similar incident in neighboring Baghlan province in December.