Fatal Afghan mine collapse investigated

Dec. 25, 2011 at 10:17 AM

KABUL, Afghanistan, Dec. 25 (UPI) -- Officials in Afghanistan ordered an investigation into a collapse at a coal mine that left as many as 13 miners dead this weekend.

District Chief Fazel Rahman said Sunday that the cause of the collapse at the mine in central Baghlan province the day before was not immediately known.

The South Asian News Agency said safety standards at mines in Afghanistan were often lax; however, the government was actively seeking foreign investment to expand and modernize the important industry.

The commander of the International Security Assistance Force said Sunday one of its Provincial Reconstruction Teams had been dispatched to provide medical and humanitarian aid. "Our hearts go out to the families of this tragedy and we will, of course, stand ready to provide any additional assistance necessary if called upon by the Afghan government," ISAF commander Gen. John Allen said in a written statement.

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