Over 40 people were feared killed in a coal mine collapse triggered by a series of methane gas explosions inside a mine in Balochistan. The first of the blasts took place on Sunday and the initial death toll was put around 10 with over 40 trapped. But with the recovery of over a score bodies on Monday, hopes have begun to fade.

According to officials, 52 miners were working in the over 4,000-feet deep mine when a series of explosions occurred around 2 a.m. on Sunday. As a result, a major portion of the mine collapsed trapping the workers. Though a massive rescue operation was set in motion, the task was rendered difficult because of the high quantity of methane inside.

The mine is owned by the state-run Pakistan Mineral Development Corporation but had been leased to a contractor. The contractor had apparently been asked in writing earlier this month to stop mining because of the huge amount of methane within.

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