Authorities Rescue 9 Men From Pakistani Coal Mine

QUETTA, Pakistan -- A senior mining official says authorities have rescued nine miners who were trapped for two days in a coal mine in southwestern Pakistan that collapsed after a series of methane gas explosions.

Iftikhar Ahmed said all nine men were found unconscious Tuesday, buried beneath sand and wooden supports, but were not seriously injured. Rescue workers were surprised to find the men because officials said Monday they feared everyone in the mine had died.

Ahmed said the final death toll from the accident in Baluchistan province was 43.

The mine, owned by the state-run Pakistan Mineral Development Corporation, was declared dangerous two weeks ago due to the presence of methane gas, but the warning was ignored by the contractor working it.