On Wednesday, 3 May 2017, an explosion in a coal mine in Golestan Province in northern Iran killed and injured a number of workers. The blast occurred at 12:45 p.m. in the Zemestanyurt mine, about 14 kilometres from the town of Azadshahr after workers tried to jump-start a locomotive.

Dr Seyed Amir Mohsen Ziaee, President of the Red Crescent Society of the Islamic Republic of Iran in a message expressed his condolence for the painful incident at the mine.

“Based on their duties and humanitarian mandates, Red Crescent rescuers immediately rushed to save the trapped miners and help the injured and victims since the first hours of the incident,” Dr Ziaee mentioned in his message. “The rescue operation will continue until all rescue efforts have been made.”

Mr Morteza Salimi, Head of the Relief and Rescue Organisation of the Red Crescent Society of the Islamic Republic of Iran explained that 117 rescue workers were involved in providing necessary relief and rescue services to over 80 injured miners. Over 50 injured people were transferred to medical centres or hospitals

“A helicopter, 13 ambulances, two search and rescue dogs, 8 rescue vehicles and 25 relief and rescue operational teams from Red Crescent branches in Golestan province have been despatched to help and serve the victims,” added Mr Salimi. “Also, two rapid response teams from North Khorasan provincial branch and one team from Semnan provincial branch are on the scene.”

The rescue and relief operation progressed slowly, as tunnels were filled with poisonous gases. Several miners were stuck at the far end of a 1,000-metre shaft for hours after the incident. In all, 43 people lost their lives in this accident.

Iran - Red Crescent response to Golestan mine accident

Location of incident

Zemestanyurt mine