Middle East

Iranian state TV: Death toll in mine explosion rises to 42

Iranian state TV says that search crews have found seven more bodies at the site of a coal mine explosion last week, bringing the total death toll in the incident to 42.

Tuesday's report quotes Reza Morovati, an official in the Golestan government, as saying that the bodies have been taken to "forensics experts for identification."

He also says it's possible that one miner remains trapped inside the coal mine.

The explosion last Wednesday has been blamed on methane gas that had accumulated in the Zemestanyurt mine, which employs over 500 workers. The northern province of Golestan lies along the Caspian Sea and also borders Turkmenistan.

President Hassan Rouhani visited the site on Sunday and afterward, angry coal miners kicked and beat his car in protest but he was unharmed.